Canada’s newest world champions: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford

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Canada’s newest world champions: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford

A perfect season in the books. Canadian pair skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford capped their undefeated season on Thursday with a gold medal at the ISU World Championships in Shanghai.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford after their pairs short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championship 2015 held at the Oriental Sports Centre in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

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Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford after their pairs short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championship 2015 held at the Oriental Sports Centre in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

They entered the free skate with a 4.39 point lead after a beautiful and confident short program. Skating second of the four pairs in the final flight, Duhamel put her hands down on the landing of the throw quad Salchow and Radford bobbled in the side-by-side spins but their free skate score of 144.55 was enough to give them the title by 7.41 points over China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han. Another Chinese team, Qing Pang and Jian Tong, took the bronze in the final competitive performance of their careers.

In the kiss-and-cry after the event, the normally talkative Duhamel said that she had no words for the first time in her life. This has been a personal season for the duo who decided to continue skating for themselves after the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Their overall score of 221.53 bettered their own previous mark as the best in the world this season.

During the in-arena interview Radford was able to come up with some words to describe the moment. “We’re so excited. We’re extremely proud of ourselves. This is a dream come true for us. You never know if you’ll be able to stand on top of a world podium no matter how hard you work.”

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford during their pairs short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championship 2015 held at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford during their pairs short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championship 2015 held at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

World bronze medallists the last two years, the Canadians have dominated the pairs’ event this season, bolstered by their huge start value thanks to technical elements such as side-by-side triple Lutzes and the throw quad Salchow. They are the only team in the world to have both in their arsenal.

This is Canada’s first World pairs title since 2001, won by Jamie Salé and David Pelletier who were coincidentally guided by the same man who coaches Duhamel and Radford, Richard Gauthier.

Canada had two other entries in Shanghai. Making their senior international debut were this year’s world junior silver medallists Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau. Tenth after the short program, they had an outstanding free skate to finish eighth overall.

Their placement combined with that of Duhamel and Radford ensures that Canada will again send three pairs to next year’s world championships in Boston.

Also competing at their first world championships together were Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch. Eleventh after the short, they had a strong start to their free skate but trouble on the death spiral meant that element was not counted and an early exit to their final lift left them in 13th place overall.

More about Meagan and Eric:

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