Radford, James finish 2nd in 1st pairs event together at Autumn Classic International

·3 min read
Vanessa James, top, and Eric Radford, bottom, of Canada skated to a score of 115.72 in the free skating pairs event at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International on Friday. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
Vanessa James, top, and Eric Radford, bottom, of Canada skated to a score of 115.72 in the free skating pairs event at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International on Friday. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's newest pairs duo, Eric Radford and Vanessa James, continued to impress at the Autumn International Classic on Friday, placing second in the free skate to finish their debut event second overall.

The pair received a free-skate score of 115.72 to bring their total to 184.01, well behind Japan's Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara's total of 204.06. The Japanese duo won both the short program and free skate, earning 131.74 in the latter.

Despite the second-place finish for the pair, James believes there's work still to be done.

"We have been training really well... especially in terms of the single elements, the jumps and even the connections and the transitions and the lifts and things like that have been really solid," James told CBC Sports' Jacqueline Doorey.

"We weren't expecting a clean program because you know it's very early in the season but we were expecting much better than what we did today."

WATCH | James and Radford discuss first competiton together:

Fellow Canadian duo Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps narrowly placed third with a score of 112.08, just 0.07 ahead of American pair Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay.

Radford, a three-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion, announced in April that he and James were coming out of retirement to compete together. James previously competed for France, topping the podium at European and Grand Prix Final championships, as well as earning bronze at worlds.

WATCH | Radford, James place 2nd in free skating pairs event:

The news came ahead of the season leading up to the Beijing 2022 Olympics, where Canada is slated to send two pairs teams.

For Radford, this competition was a good starting point for the team.

"It's only been six months. I think it's just learning what each other needs in specific moments. Also, we are going to learn what we need to focus on more back home when we train," Radford said. "I feel like we have established a good base. Now that we have gone through the competition, we know more about ourselves as a team."

WATCH | Japanese duo victorious in pairs event:

In the rhythm dance event, it was the Canadian duo of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier who easily grasped the lead with a score of 83.35.

Spain's Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz posted the second highest score of 75.20, while the American pairing Caroline Green and Michael received a score of 73.93 to hold onto third place.

Canada's Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha came in a close fourth, scoring 71.27.

WATCH | Canada's Gilles, Poirier take lead in rhythm dance event:

Meanwhile, Canadian Conrad Orzel took the lead in the men's short program with a score of 80.82.

The Toronto native was the lone skater to not have any points deducted.

Bennet Toman placed second with a score of 63.30, while Beres Clements was finished third receiving a score of 55.48 from the judges.

Nam Nguyen and Samuel Angers both withdrew from the event.

WATCH | Toronto's Orzel takes lead in short program:

In the women's free skate, Marilena Kitromillis of Cyprus won the gold ahead of two South Koreans — Young You and Seoyeon Ji.

Vancouver's Emily Bausback was the top Canadian climbing from ninth to seventh. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was eighth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., placed 10th.

WATCH | Marilena Kirtromilis wins women's title:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting