Canadian ice dancers Gilles and Poirier win silver at Four Continents

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier perform during the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance competition in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won silver on Friday at the ISU Four Continents figure skating competition.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. successfully defended their title with 213.18 points followed by the Canadian champions at 210.18, a personal-best international score. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S., first after the rhythm dance, took bronze with 208.72.

Dancing to “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell, Gilles and Poirier, from Toronto, produced level-four twizzles, lifts and a combination spin en route to their third Four Continents medal of their career. They were third after the rhythm dance.

“We’re both really proud of ourselves,” said Poirier. ”This was a really quick turnaround after nationals so to have higher scores at this event compared to the Grand Prix is really satisfying. We are really pleased with our consistency this season.

”It’s a great setup for the world championships.”

At one point, Chock slipped on a transition move but recovered.

“It was a testament on how well-trained we are because we picked up really quickly from this fall that took us by surprise,” Bates said.

World junior champions Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., were fifth and Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were seventh.

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu finished first in the men’s short program after recording a world-record score.

The Japanese skater opened with a quad salchow and followed with a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination to score 111.82 points and finish comfortably ahead of Jin Boyang of China, who was second with 95.83 points. Jason Brown of the United States was third with 94.71 points.

“It feels like the first time in a long time that I’ve been satisfied with my short program,” Hanyu said. “I was able to enjoy myself and I think the crowd enjoyed my performance.”

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was fourth with 94.03 points.

”To go out and skate a clean program just fills me up with the same butterflies as watching my wife walking down the aisle,” said Messing, who skated to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” ”It’s one of the few times I don’t feel like I’m skating alone on the ice. It fills me with such warmth to skate it.”

Nam Nguyen of Toronto was ninth and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was 17th.

Nathan Chen, an American who won the world title in 2019, is not taking part in the event.

Competition continues through Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2020.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.