Home Figure Skating News Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps golden in Montreal

Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps golden in Montreal

by Paula Slater
Krystal Yeung
Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps golden in Montreal

(L-R) Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara (JPN), Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps (CAN) and Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin (GER) pose with their medals at the 2024 World Figure Skating Championships.

2024 World Figure Skating Championships: Pairs

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Canada claimed the Pairs gold on home ice in Montreal on Thursday night in what was an exciting event. Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara settled for silver while Germany’s Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin won the bronze in their first appearance together at this event.

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps

Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps attacked their short program to “Oxygene,” earning many high positive grades of execution (GOE) on every element. The triple twist and well-time lift were graded a level four, as did the steps, spin and death spiral. The newly-crowned 2024 Four Continents champions also produced solid side-by-side triple toes and a throw triple loop and placed first with a new personal best score of 77.48.

“I was way more nervous than usual,” admitted Stellato-Dudek. “There was a lot of pressure. I knew this would be a home World Championships and many of my friends and family would be here, including people who never before watched me skate. I wanted to show my friends I was cool. I was as excited after a program at Skate Canada to be honest, but it’s amazing!”

“We are very pleased with the skate today, we worked for this moment all season,” added Deschamps. “We created this short program as a dedication to Montreal and it’s a dream to skate it like this on this stage. It was a huge pleasure to perform it today.”

The 2023-24 Grand Prix Final bronze medalists, who were fourth last year, delivered a compelling free skate to Interview with a Vampire. The only mistake came when she stepped out the last jump of a triple toe-single Axel-double Axel sequence. The team opened with an excellent level-four triple twist and also landed side-by-side triple Salchows. The throw triple Salchow and throw triple loop were clean and they also picked up a level four on the pair spin and all three lifts. They finished second in the free skate with a new personal best of 144.08, and won the title with a total score of 221.56.

The release of tension was apparent by Stellato-Dudek’s expression at the end of the performance.

“This is a dream come true,” she said through joyful tears. “It was difficult for me tonight as I was not feeling well. I was feeling a bit sick, and I put my team through a hard time today. However, we have been so well trained that it did not matter in the end. The audience today carried us through the second half of the program.”

“At the end of our program I felt nothing but pride,” said Deschamps. “Deanna was sick, our training session was difficult today, but we kept at it and pulled through. She is a warrior. The only three words I had for her at the end of the performance was: ‘We did it!'”

At 40, Stellato-Dudek is the oldest women in history to win a medal in the sport for any discipline.

“Well, 40 is the new 20,” she said jokingly. “No, it is something I take with huge pride. I hope others can be inspired to stay around a lot longer, not only in sport, but also in other aspects of life.”

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara

Kihara was diagnosed earlier this season with lumbar spondylosis and the team was forced to withdraw from their Grand Prix events. However, the 2024 Four Continents silver medalists put out an inspiring short program to “Dare You to Move” for a new season’s best of 73.53, placing second in the short. They showed excellent skating skills, and their level-four lift, which had a difficult entry and exit, earned mostly +4 GOEs. Kihara slightly underrotated the triple toes while Miura two-footed the landing of the throw triple Lutz. However, those were the only mistakes as they earned a level four for their strong level-four spin, steps and death spiral.

“We are happy we got some warm welcomes by the audience despite not being from Canada,” said Kihara. “We did the best we can at the moment.”

“Our short programs this season weren’t quite good all season, so compared to that, I think we really did what we could,” Miura added.

Kihara was expecting a lower score than last season.

“But as our scores are going up every competition, maybe one more and we will get 80,” he said jokingly.

“We are happy that we got all the levels,” said Miura. “We missed them at the Four Continents. We were able to skate with a smile because we had the confidence we gained from having a lot of good practices since then.”

The defending champions returned to their 2022 Olympic free skate to “Woman” by Shawn Phillips and showed their champion spirit. They placed first (144.35) in the free skate by 0.23 points. Their routine featured a level-three triple twist and two strong throw jumps: a triple Lutz and triple loop. The only mistakes were a slightly underrotated triple toe and doubled Salchow by Miura on the side-by-side jumps. The lifts were all graded a level four, as did the pair spin. However, the total score of 217.88 was not enough for a repeat title.

Coach Bruno Marcotte spoke to the press about his team as they were unable to attend the press conference.

“They were extremely proud of their performance,” he said. “After their performance. Ryuichi started to cough. He hyperventilated, had low sugar and was dizzy. He tried to stand up a couple of times but couldn’t keep his balance. The medical team took care of him and gave him some fluids. When I just saw him, he started feeling a lot better. He felt bad to not go and do his duties (attend the ceremony), but he also felt very bad that he couldn’t go congratulate Deanna and Max. So, I want to congratulate them on behalf of Riku and Ryiuchi.”

Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin

Hase and Volodin skated with conviction in their elegant short program to “Stay” by Rihanna. The 2023-24 Grand Prix Final champions had a difficult entry into a group three level-four lift. The spin was also graded a level four and the triple twist, triple Salchows and throw triple loop were clean. They were awarded 72.10 for a close fourth-place finish.

“It was great to skate here!” said Hase. “The energy in the arena was amazing and helped us. It was so much fun! We left a level on the death spiral, but it doesn’t matter right now. We enjoyed it so much and I think it was our most emotional performance of this short program. I tried to relax and enjoy it from the beginning. I wanted to fully enjoy the program as this was our last time skating it. I was very relieved though when the throw was landed.”

“Half the job is done,” added Volodin. “I am happy with the first 50%.”

The German champions only made one error in their suspenseful free skate to “The Path of Silence” and “Power of Mind.” After a solid triple twist and a side-by-side triple toe-double Axel-double Axel sequence, Hase took a fall on the triple Salchows. The team quickly recovered to produce a solid throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow. Two lifts and the pair spins were graded a level four, and they earned a new personal best of 138.30 for third place in the free skate. With a total score of 210.40, they moved up onto the third spot on the podium.

“It feels so amazing!” said Hase. “Nikita is the best partner in the world! This is our first World Championships as a team, and we won a medal. We are super happy! We learned some lessons from Europeans. I was tons less stressed. We didn’t think about the medal this time and now it came. Skating first also worked well for us today.”

Maria Pavlova and Alexei Sviatchenko

Maria Pavlova and Alexei Sviatchenko of Hungary executed a big level-four triple twist and solid side-by-side triple toes in their strong routine to “Another One Bites the Dust.” The 2023 Skate Canada silver medalists also secured a solid throw triple flip and earned a level four on the lift and spin. They finished sixth with a new personal best of 68.01 points going into the free skate.

“We are so happy with the skate and finally also with the score,” said Pavlova. “The audience made the difference today. From the first moment they were cheering for us, and it gave me so much energy. We want to build on this to achieve even more next season. Our preparation for this event was also great as we had this super tough and intense camp in Oberstdorf.”

The two-time Grand Prix medalists scored a new personal best of 136.59 for their solid free skate to “My Perception of Love” and “Iron 2021.” They produced a side-by-side triple toe-double Axel-double Axel sequence, throw triple flip, side-by-side triple Salchows, and a throw triple loop. They finished fourth in this segment with a new personal best (136.59) and moved up two spots to fourth overall (204.60).

“We feel amazing!” said Pavlova. “We got a personal best and it’s very motivating for next season as we want to go keep improving and going up even more. We are also a bit tired now and are looking forward to the off season.”

Pavlova lived in Canada for two years and trained with Brian Orser when she was 11 or 12. Her sister has lived in Canada for 10 years and this is why it has a special place in her heart. Sviatchenko will celebrate his 25th birthday on Sunday with his teammates.

Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel

Germany’s Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel played to the audience with their engaging rock-and-roll routine. Their short program featured a solid throw triple twist, side-by-side triple Salchows and huge throw triple flip. Both the lift and spin were graded a level four, and the 2023 European bronze medalists earned a new season’s best of 67.64 for seventh place.

“We had so much fun!” said Hocke. “This was our main goal. Of course, we also wanted to have a clean performance and we are overall so happy. We could show our good preparations. We were profiting off skating our short program at the show Holiday on Ice. We added some show elements there and it was received well.”

“This SP is made for moments like this,” said Kunkel, who is coming off a painful back injury. “We did exactly as planned.”

The 2023 Skate America champions put out a contemporary free skate to “Without You” by Ursine Vulpine and Annaca, showcasing their versatility. They produced a level-four triple twist and side-by-side triple Salchows. Kunkel turned out the last jump on a side-by-side double Axel-single Axel-double Axel, but the throw triple flip and throw triple loop were clean. The team picked up a new personal best (130.59) for their efforts, placing fifth in the free skate and overall (198.23).

“The short program gave us wings yesterday,” said Hocke. “These are competitions you dream of, and the audience was great! This was the perfect way to say goodbye to this program which means so much to us. This program was created in a difficult time, and we have great memories with it. We skated especially for our team tonight to say, ‘thank you’ to them for the amazing support.”

“Finally, we had an injury-free preparation,” added Kunkel. “We can take a lot from that preparation for future competitions.”

Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii

Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy made a statement with their passionate routine to last season’s “Oblivion,” landing a throw triple loop and side-by-side triple Salchows. The 2023 World bronze medalists displayed a nice transition into the forward-inside death spiral, and the lift, steps and spin were graded a level four. They picked up a new season’s best of 72.88 for third place going into the free skate.

“We are so happy! Finally, we had a really good short program!” said Conti. “It was such a great emotion after finishing our program.”

“It was not the easiest position to skate after a standing ovation and the crowd screaming like that,” Macii confessed. “We are so happy we could show our best short program of the season at Worlds. I guess we like Worlds. We struggled a bit all season and had our worst competition at Europeans. But we love what we do, we love skating, and we work hard every single day. We are glad we could turn it around.”

Conti said the reason for the change of music on the short program is that she “didn’t feel the previous music.”

I loved it, but I somehow didn’t connect with it,” she explained. “With this program we have so many great memories, so it also helped psychologically to bring this program back.”

The 2023 European silver medalists had a few “gasp” moments during their free skate to Cinema Paradiso. Conti nearly lost her balance after being set down on the triple twist (level two) and there was a missed feature in the final group three lift which was graded a level three. Macii turned out the back end of the triple toe-double Axel sequence and Conti put her hand down on the throw triple loop. However, the throw triple Salchow was strong and the other two lifts and pair spin were graded a level four. They finished sixth in the free skate and overall (124.46/197.34).

“It is hard, you know. The pressure was so high, the tension was to the stars,” admitted Conti. “It’s disappointing, but it’s a competition. But Worlds is not a normal competition. It was the second worlds for us, but it was different. It is so difficult. We worked a lot, also here. We came a week early to get used to the small ice rink. We did a lot of run-throughs, but competition is so difficult.”

Anastasiia Metelkina and Luka Berulava

Anastasiia Metelkina and Luka Berulava of Georgia showed great presence on the ice and connected to the audience with their unconventional short program to Billy Stewart’s version of “Summertime.” The triple twist was huge and graded a level four. The 2024 World Junior Champions went on to produce side-by-side triple Salchows, a throw triple flip and level-four lift. The spin and steps were also graded a level four and they scored a new personal best of 72.02 for fifth place.

“We are a little bit surprised by the scores today, but there is still a free program to go,” said Berulava. “We hope to be even happier and more surprised after the scores tomorrow.”

“This short program is challenging for us, and we hope to have even a better short next season,” added Metelkina.

Skating their free to “The Millionaire Waltz” by Queen, the 2024 European silver medalists were off to a good start. The team produced a very good level-four triple twist, but they struggled on the triple Salchow-double Axel-double toe sequence. The throw triple flip and side-by-side triple toes were clean, but she stepped out of the throw triple loop. They also aborted a group 3 lift. The mistakes were costly, and they finished 10th (117.28) in the free skate and slipped to seventh overall (189.30).

“Right now, I don’t have words to comment on this performance,” said Berulava, who was despondent. “Everything is fine with me. No explanation why it happened with the lift. We need to distribute our energy next season. We gave everything at the beginning, and in the end, it was not enough. We were tired. Next, we will build new programs and will work on our elements.”

They hope to compete at the junior level at worlds again next season, but it will depend on whether or not the ISU changes the age limits. However, they plan to compete at the senior level for the Grand Prix series.

Round out the top 10

Canada’s Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud placed eighth overall (186.93) followed by Lucrezia Beccari and Matteo Guarise of Italy (185.40) and Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos Moore of Australia (182.71).

Related Info:

Related Articles

You cannot copy content of this page