Virtue and Moir take ice dance gold at Four Continents

Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada pose for a photo during the medal award ceremony for the Ice Dance event in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured the gold medal in ice dancing Friday at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., scored 196.95 points after the free dance to claim first place. They had led the field after the short program.

Maia and Alex Shibutani took second place with 191.85 while fellow Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates took the bronze medal with 185.58 points.

Kaitlyn Weaver of Toronto and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., finished in fifth place — one spot ahead of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto.

Virtue and Moir scored a personal best 117.20 with their free dance to "Pilgrims on a Long Journey" by Montreal’s Coeur De Pirate, and Sam Smith’s "Latch."

"What an honour for Tessa and I to be Four Continents champions," Moir said. "It was obviously a goal of ours just to qualify for this event at the beginning of the year.

"Today was an interesting performance for us as we left a couple of points on the board, but it was really special for us to be in that venue. We really felt the energy and we’re really happy with certain parts of our performance. We’re going to be pretty excited, looking forward to the next five weeks for the world championship."

Meanwhile, it was a tough day for Canadian star Patrick Chan, who fell on his opening quad toeloop and stumbled on the landing of a triple toeloop to finish in fifth place with 88.46 points after the men’s short program.

Chan is a three-time winner of the Four Continents meet, the final tune-up for next month’s world championships in Helsinki and a test event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

American Nathan Chen took first place after opening with a quad lutz-triple toeloop combination at the Gangneung Ice Arena and adding a quad flip and a triple axel for 103.12 points.

Shoma Uno of Japan was second with 100.28 points after landing all his jumps cleanly, while Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu had 97.04 in third.

Hanyu opened with a quad loop but could only manage a double salchow instead of a planned quad salchow as part of a combination jump that included a triple toeloop.

Boyang Jin of China was fourth with 91.33 points.

The women’s and pairs free skate is on Saturday. The men’s free program is Sunday.

— With files from The Associated Press

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