Figure Skating

The Canadian Press - Saturday Jan. 11, 2014 23:09 ET

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir capture 6th straight national ice dance title

Pair scores 194.03 for Canadian championship record

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir perform their free program in the ice dance competition at the Canadian Skating Championships Saturday in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured their sixth consecutive national ice dance crown in what was likely their final competition on home ice Saturday in Ottawa.

Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., scored 194.03 points — a Canadian championship record — with their romantic and floaty program to music by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov. It wasn't a flawless performance as Virtue wobbled on their twizzles (a sort of side-by-side travelling spin).

"It was a great performance I think. Obviously a little slipup in the last twizzle but overall I don't think that's a big deal," Virtue said.

"I didn't see it," interjected Moir with a laugh.

"The point is to peak in Sochi," Virtue added. "It would be alarming if we skated perfectly in both programs here."

"I'm on the right track mentally. But your mind can play crazy tricks and you can easily just get out of that rhythm and forget the things that have helped you have success," Chan said. "That's what's been happening lately, in training and here at nationals, I got out of the rhythm. Mistakes happen and that's to refocus me and remind myself what I need to correct."

Moir said they have a target on their back as defending champions, everyone wants to take them down. He laughed recalling how four years ago, a television crew showed up just before the Vancouver Games having just figured out the duo might win a medal.

"This time maybe we're on the radar a little bit more," Moir said. "But we have a little more experience too, so hopefully that balances it out."

Virtue and Moir took the ice right after silver medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who had the crowd on its feet in a rousing ovation — the perfect practice for Sochi, Moir said.

"They're an elite team in the world and it adds a bit of pressure stepping onto the ice when people are going crazy," he said. "It's more real. More what we'll feel in Sochi."

Earlier, Patrick Chan won his seventh consecutive men's title with a score of 277.42, Kaetlyn Osmond sucessfully defended her women's title with 208.23 points, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the pairs with a meet-record 213.62 points.

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.

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