Canada outside finals spot after first day of Olympic team figure skating

Canada sits sixth after three disciplines of the team figure skating event at the Beijing Olympics.

The top five countries after the women’s short program on Sunday advance to the finals in the 10-team event.

The United States leads the way with 28 points, followed by the Russains with 26, China with 21, Japan with 20, Italy with 18 and Canada with 16.

Canada won the event in 2018 in PyeongChang, but the country is in a rebuilding cycle in the sport.

Ice dancers Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., led the way for Canada with a fourth-place finish in the short program on Friday.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were fifth in the pairs, while Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was eighth in men’s.

“We definitely got some momentum going now, which is what we wanted,” Marinaro told CBC after the Canadian pair scored 67.34 points. “Starting out with a season best. That’s what we came here to do — to lay out a season best every time we perform. The first one, check, so success. Still some work to do to add a couple points for a much bigger season best.”

Sadovsky took the place of Keegan Messing, who is stuck at home while trying to produce two negative COVID-19 tests.

Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., will need a big performance for Canada in her Olympic debut to give the country a shot in the finals.

Han Cong and Sui Wenjing of China won the pairs short on Thursday, American Nathan Chen took the men’s short and Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue of the U.S. captured the ice dance.

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