Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crone and Poirier looking to step it up in Paris

Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier surprised pretty much everyone, including themselves, by winning the silver ice dance medal at Skate Canada earlier this month.

Tuesday, they were on their way to their second ISU Grand Prix event in Paris, where landing on the podium will be a much tougher assignment.

Fresh off the junior circuit with a world silver medal to their credit, the Toronto-based teens arrived in Ottawa with few expectations -- other than to deliver the best performances possible in their senior international debut.

Crone, 18, and Poirier, 17, did just that, and, thanks in part to major miscues by the world's seventh-ranked couple Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, the young Canadians glided into second place behind Meryl Davis and Charlie White, of the U.S. The Americans had finished sixth at the 2008 World Championships.

At Trophée Eric Bompard, the field will include the home-country's world champion couple, Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder, who won gold at Skate America in October. Also on the roster are Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali, of Italy, and Sinead Kerr and John Kerr, of Great Britain, the bronze medalists in Everett, Wash. The Italians and the Brits ranked fifth and eighth, respectively, at the 2008 worlds.

"The dance event [in Paris] is a strong one," said Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada's high performance director. "It will be good for them [Crone and Poirier] to see where they fit in. There's always new people to gauge yourself against."

Not to take anything away from the standing ovation-worthy free dance with which Crone and Poirier excited the fans at Skate Canada, but the reality their total score (162.13) would not have been medal material at either Skate America or last week's Cup of China.

Full article.

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