Canadians Moore-Towers, Marinaro take silver in pairs at NHK Trophy

SAPPORO, Japan — Canada reached the medal podium twice on Saturday at the NHK Trophy with Kirsten Moore-Tower and Michael Marinaro taking silver in pairs and Roman Sadovsky adding a surprise bronze in men’s competition.

The event is the sixth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit and the last competition before the Grand Prix Final December 5-8 in Torino, Italy.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro earned a spot in Torino with 208.49 points. It will be their first Grand Prix Final since teaming up in 2014.

The Canadian pair was also second at their other Grand Prix competition — Skate Canada International last month in Kelowna, B.C.

“Our big goal was to qualify for the Grand Prix Final,” said Moore-Towers from St. Catharines, Ont. “We left a few levels on the table that we are determined to pick up in a couple of weeks but for the most part we are pleased.”

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China took the gold with 226.96. Anastasia Michina and Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia were third at 203.35.

In the men’s event, Sadovksy of Vaughn, Ont., unleashed the second best free skate of the night to climb from fourth to third spot with a personal best 247.50 points for his first career Grand Prix medal. Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was the winner at 305.05 followed by Kevin Aymoz of France at 250.02.

“I’m really glad I could pull that out,” said the 20-year-old Sadovksy, who was 10th at Skate Canada International. “I’m looking forward to keeping that long program consistent for the rest of the season.”

In ice dancing, world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold medal while Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver moved from ninth after the rhythm dance to eighth overall.

“It was a good experience overall for us and we are satisfied with our performances,” said Firus. “Our next big event are the nationals (in January) and we really want to work on our technical issues until then.”

There were no Canadian entries in women’s competition.

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