Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford win pairs title at figure skating nationals
Pair scores 213.62 points for Canadian championship record
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won their third straight national pairs title Saturday in Ottawa, and are all but assured of a ticket to Sochi.
They scored 213.62 points, a national championship record.
Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Waterloo, Ont., were second with 209.44. Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., won bronze (176.31).
"I don't believe it yet, my legs are still shaking," Duhamel said, at times fighting back tears as she spoke with reporters. "We've waited so long to go to the Olympics and we're going and it's the greatest feeling . . . Four years ago it was a devastating experience for me at nationals and I've waited four years to relive this day, and I couldn't be prouder."
Duhamel narrowly missed the Vancouver Games team with former partner Craig Buntin, and pondered retirement before teaming up with Radford.
"I sat here in front of most of you guys crying and not knowing what was going to happen with my future, and behind the scenes Eric did the same thing, wondering what was going to happen with his future," Duhamel said. "When we got together four years ago we were just hoping to squeak in and make the Olympic team and now we're getting to go to the Olympics as three-time Canadian champions and it's such a cool feeling."
Weaver and Poje of Waterloo, Ont., scored 183.54 to clinch what will be their first Olympic berth, while Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., won bronze (170.64).
Kaetlyn Osmond secured an Olympic berth with her second women's title in a row Saturday, Patrick Chan won his seventh consecutive men's title with a score of 277.42, and Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured their sixth consecutive national ice dance crown.
The team will be announced Sunday. Canada has three Sochi berths in each of men's singles, pairs and ice dance, and two in women's singles.