Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daleman Leads after Short Program a Day after Learning She Has Pneumonia

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Daleman Leads after Short Program a Day after Learning She Has Pneumonia

Article excerpt

An ailing Daleman leads after short program

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VANCOUVER - A month before the curtain closes on their outstanding career, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir might be closer to perfection than ever before.

But the three-time world champions still see room for improvement.

Skating to an upbeat medley of "Sympathy For The Devil," "Hotel California," and Santana's "Oye Como Va," Virtue and Moir scored a whopping 85.12 points in the short dance Friday at the Canadian figure skating championships. A perfect score for their program, Moir said, is about 86 points.

"It's a great boost and we'll have to maintain that momentum, but we'll watch the video, and we know we'll still have a lot of things we want to improve," Virtue said.

"We still have five points (in us)," Moir added, laughing.

The score tops their world short dance record of 82.68, set at Skate Canada International in October, but national championship marks don't qualify for records.

Still, they'll take it.

"That's a big score. We're not quite there yet. Maybe in a month," Moir said.

A day after she was diagnosed with pneumonia, Gabrielle Daleman won the women's short program. Skating to a French rendition of "Carmen," the world bronze medallist scored 77.88 points to take a six-point lead over Kaetlyn Osmond into Saturday's free program.

"I am just most proud of how I've handled everything, I didn't find out how sick I was (until Thursday), I just knew I couldn't breathe properly," said Daleman, who saw the Canadian team doctor after practice Thursday.

In pairs, two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have a huge 13-point lead after the short program.

In ice dance, Toronto's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are second with 78.37, Carolane Soucissse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver, B.C., are third, while perennial runners-up Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are fourth after Poje fell during the make-or-break twizzles -- side-by-side travelling spins that are worth major marks in ice dance.

"It happened so quick that it's kind of hard to analyze (what happened), but I lost an edge, and all of sudden hands on the ice," Poje said. "It shocks you for a second, but you just have to be professional and get back into the performance and just try your hardest to bring the audience back into what you're trying to create."

Waiting in the wings, Moir heard the gasp of the crowd.

"It was a good thing for me to refocus in after that," he said. "As friends you feel bad for them, but we know what program they have (Saturday), we have no doubt they're going to climb into the spot they belong in."

Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., won gold in the same west coast city at the 2010 Olympics, but had to settle for silver in 2014 in Sochi. …

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