A new Canadian women's champion was crowned Saturday. Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., captured her first Canadian title to upset last year's champion Cynthia Phaneuf of Sorel-Tracy, Que. Sixteen-year-old Kaetlyn Osmond of Sherwood Park, Alta., was third.
Megan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., also claimed their first pairs title. Jessica Dube of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Que., and Sebastien Wolfe of Terrebonne, Que., were second, while Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., won bronze.
Lacoste, skating to “Don't Cry for Me Argentina,” scored 159.51 points to win the women's title. Phaneuf moved up from a disappointing fourth-place finish in the short program to finish second with 157.94. Osmond was third with 155.47.
“It feels good, it was my goal to win nationals, it's not beating the national champion, it's just to win nationals, to achieve what I wanted since I was a little girl,” Lacoste said. “It's like a step closer to my real dream, to be on the Olympic team in 2014. I'm working to that new goal.”
Canada can enter just one skater in women's singles at the world championships in March in Nice, France, and Skate Canada CEO William Thompson said there's a chance they'll wait until after the Four Continents Championships to determine whether they'll send Lacoste or Phaneuf.
Phaneuf was fifth at the 2010 world championships but her international results have dropped off, and in November she left her longtime coach Annie Barabe and moved to Toronto to train with Brian Orser.
“I just hope maybe they're going to wait for another skate to choose who's going to go to worlds, because I think I deserve my place there and I'm going to work very hard to be going there and to be skating very well there,” Phaneuf said.
“I've been out there, I've been fifth in the worlds, in the top-10, and I think I can do it again. I believe in myself and in what I can do.”
Duhamel and Radford, who've been partners for less than two seasons, scored 190.11 for the pairs gold. Duhamel jumped up and down the moment the music stopped, and was overcome with emotion when the score was posted.
“Oh my god, I can't imagine feeling happier than I am right now. I'm going to have no voice tomorrow,” she said. “Eric moved away from home when he was 13 years old and I moved away when I was 14 for the sole purpose of winning a national title and it took 12 years. It took a long time, but we never lost hope.”
The Canadian champs skated a nearly flawless performance to music from Coldplay's “Viva la Vida.”
“When I first started skating, it was this moment I was dreaming of, and it's all happening right now,” Radford said. “It's what every athlete dreams of, these moments like this, it's an incredible feeling.”
Dube and Wolfe scored 171.60 for silver, while Lawrence and Swiegers finished with 168.84 points for bronze.