Fournier Beaudry, Soerensen capture first Grand Prix ice dance victory

Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Canada pose for a photo celebrating their winning gold in the ice dance free dance program in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating - NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (Hiro Komae/AP)

SAPPORO, Japan — Canadian ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen won gold at the NHK Trophy on Saturday, for their first victory on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

It was one of two medals on the day for Canada as Brooke McIntosh of Toronto and Benjamin Mimar of Terrebonne, Que., captured bronze in pairs, their first Grand Prix medal.

Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen scored an international career-high 210.41 points to beat Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates (209.13), the reigning world bronze medallists. Caroline Green and Michael Parsons were third (91.10).

“There are a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts,” Soerensen said. “We were just extremely proud of being able to deliver these two performances that brought us to the top of the podium.”

The Canadians, who finished ninth at the Beijing Olympics, won silver at their other Grand Prix assignment two weeks ago in France. They’ll make their Grand Prix Final debut next month in Turin, Italy.

McIntosh and Mimar, meanwhile, overcame a fall in their program to score an international-best 175.65 points. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan captured gold (216.16), while Americans Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe were second (187.49).

“We are very happy about our first Grand Prix medal, and I am proud of my partner,” Mimar said. “Even with a fall she fought to the end.”

World champion Shoma Uno led a Japanese 1-2 finish in men’s singles. Sota Yamamoto the silver, while Junhwan Cha of South Korea was third.

Toronto’s Stephen Gogolev and Conrad Orzel were eighth and tenth, respectively.

The sixth stop on the circuit is next week in Espoo, Finland. Skaters are each assigned to two Grand Prixs, and the top six in each of the four disciplines advance to the Final.

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