(March 25, 2004)
Canadians had a lot to cheer about on Wednesday night.
On an evening of outstanding pair skating at the 2004 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, the two Canadian pair teams – Anabelle Langlois and Patrice Archetto and Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin – delivered excellent free skates to place eighth and ninth overall, respectively.
Langlois, 22, of Grand Mére, Que., and Archetto, 31, of Montreal, had to overcome major obstacles just to compete at the event. Archetto had to skate with damaged ligaments in his right hand after suffering an injury at the 2004 ISU Four Continents Championships, and Langlois had been battling migraine headaches all week.
But the injuries weren’t obvious in the duo’s skate last night. Langlois and Archetto knocked off element after element, including a triple toe loop-double toe loop sequence, a strong triple twist, and two excellent throw triple jumps. Their lifts were also impressive. The only mistake came on the first set of side-by-side triple toe loops.
Langlois and Archetto’s marks ranged from 4.9 to 5.6 for technical merit and from 4.9 to 5.5 for presentation.
“We had so many obstacles coming here, and we did great,” said Langlois. “We couldn’t ask for better from ourselves.”
Marcoux, 23, of Gatineau, Que., and Buntin, 23, of Kelowna, B.C., the 2004 Canadian Pair Champions who were competing in their first trip to the World Championships as a couple, also turned in a great performance. Their program included strong side-by-side triple toe loops, difficult lifts, and a triple twist. They also completed two outstanding throw triple jumps.
Marcoux and Buntin’s marks ranged from 4.9 to 5.4 for technical merit and from 5.0 to 5.4 for presentation.
“We're happy,” said Marcoux. “There was one little mistake but the rest of it was OK. We showed energy and we think we performed well.”
Winning the gold medal were Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin of Russia. This marks the first time the duo has placed first at the World Championships, as they finished second at this event the past two years.
Capturing the silver medal with a breathtaking skate was the Chinese duo of Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao. Shen and Zhao actually won the free skate but placed second overall because of their fourth-place finish in the short program.
The two-time World Pair Champions were awarded a total of 12 perfect marks of 6.0 for their performance.
“After the short program, I was very angry with myself and depressed,” said Zhao. “But today all my anger is gone.”
Shen and Zhao’s teammates, Qing Pang and Jian Tong, placed third overall to win their first World Championship medal.
This marks the first time two Chinese pair teams have stood on the podium at the World Championships.