By Louis Daignault
AICHI, Japan – Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and Zhao Kai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., won the gold medal in ice dancing on Sunday at the fourth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Edwards and Pang earned their second medal this season on the circuit tabulating 134.42 points. The performance should assure them a spot in the Junior Grand Prix final. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drodz of Russia were second at 133.98 and Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the U.S., the leaders after the short dance, took third at 131.42.
The Canadians were bronze medallists at the world junior championships last season, and have now stepped on the podium at six consecutive Junior Grand Prix but this was their first gold.
‘’It feels amazing to get the gold,’’ said Edwards. ‘’It is one of the big highlights of our career. We just felt really relaxed in our free skate today and really into it.’’
In the free dance, Edwards and Pang were the first to skate in the last group.
‘’I would actually rather have it that way,’’ said Pang. ‘’You can go out there and skate and not worry about the other performances. We are just ecstatic that it held up.’’
Lauren Collins of Minesing, Ont., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were sixth.
It was also a big day for Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., in the men’s free skate as he roared from 10th after the short program to fifth overall. Boyang Jin of China won the gold.
The fifth stop on the circuit is in two weeks in Tallinn, Estonia.
Videos of routines available on the ISU YouTube channel.
Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpjpn2014/index.htm.