NAGOYA, Japan — Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were in second place after Thursday’s short program at the ISU Grand Prix final, the last major international competition before the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The world champions sat behind Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, who recorded 82.07 points.

Virtue and Moir, undefeated since returning to competition last season, collected 81.53 points while Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third with 78.09.

“The plan is to peak in February (at the Olympics) and we are on track,” said Virtue, a London, Ont., native. “Our performance was a step up from what we did this season on the Grand Prix circuit.”

The veteran Canadian skaters weren’t concerned about being in second spot.

“Hopefully we can have another great skate Saturday and build our confidence for the Olympics,” said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont.

In pairs, two-time Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were fifth after the short program at 72.18 in a competition that’s too tight to call heading into Saturday’s free skate.

“Having those …read more


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