Anaheim, CA/USA

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Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA) on their way to Rhythm Dance success in Anaheim © International Skating Union (ISU)

World silver medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) captured the Rhythm Dance at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Anaheim (USA) on Friday. Teammates Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) and Canada’s 2018 World bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje follow closely in second and third place respectively.

Dancing to “Alevare”, “Tangata” and “Yo Soy Maria”, Hubbell/Donohue completed level-four twizzles and a level-four curve lift. However, the midline step sequence and the first Tango Romantica pattern merited only a level two. Nevertheless, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Champions managed a season’s best of 81.95 points. “There were some mixed feelings today, at moments it felt very on, I felt very excited to perform but there were also some shaky moments,” Hubbell commented. “It is a testimony to our training to be able to put out a strong performance one week after nationals, to not necessarily do our best but be able to do enough for today. Overall we’re pleased with the work we’ve put in before coming to this event and looking forward to the rest of the competition,” she added.

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Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA) © International Skating Union (ISU)

Chock/Bates’ dance to the Flamenco “Dinner” and “Assassin’s Tango” by John Powell featured intricate steps and an exciting rotational lift. The two-time World medalists picked up a level four for the lift, the twizzles, circular step sequence and the first Tango Romantica sequence. The U.S. silver medalists, who only returned to competition in January as Chock recovered from ankle surgery, scored 81.17 points. “Our coaches have done a very good job of preparing us,” she said. “We’ve never done such an intense competition schedule, especially coming back after ten months off (due to her injury), but we feel more prepared than ever. We’re very comfortable with our programs and we have a lot of fun every time we skate them.” Bates said: “We’ve done a lot of work to prepare for three competitions in a short period of time, this being the third, and I feel like we’re building each time we compete. This Rhythm Dance is the best of the year so far.”

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Canada’s 2018 World bronze medalists, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje © International Skating Union (ISU)

Weaver/Poje turned in a passionate performance to “Libertango”, producing a level-four Tango sequence and straight line lift while the twizzles were rated a level four for Weaver and a level three for Poje. The second Tango sequence garnered a level three as well. The Canadian Champions set a season’s best score of 80.56 points. “We are both excited to return to competitive skating, we love this tango very much,” Weaver said. “We did some things well and some not so perfectly but we are happy with what we put up and it’s a stepping stone to Worlds (in March).” The Canadians had sat out the Grand Prix series last fall in order to perform in a tour.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) placed fourth on 78.05 points, while defending Four Continents Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) came fifth at 74.42 points.

Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen, who used to represent Denmark, debuted for Canada in international competition, and are currently sixth with 73.30 points.

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