Minto duo off to junior worlds

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Now Siobhan Karam and Joshua McGrath can consider their final season as junior ice dancers complete.

As expected, the Minto Skating Club duo was named yesterday to Canada's team for the world junior figure skating championships, Feb. 28-March 6 in Kitchener.

Karam and McGrath earned their ticket by winning the junior dance title Friday at the Canadian figure skating championships, after two straight bronze-medal finishes.

The junior crown and a world junior berth were the Ottawa couple's two big goals for this season. Coach Marina Zoueva gave them the good news about the latter just before they skated in yesterday's parade of champions.

"It was exciting to hear," said Karam, 18. "It's a major goal for us, and it's our last chance to go (she isn't age eligible after this season). We also didn't get to go to the Grand Prix final, and that was disappointing."

Karam admitted she was a little worried when she watched Vancouver's Lauren Senft and Leif Gislafson of Winnipeg, who are still junior age eligible, finish fifth in the senior dance event yesterday. But they're likely targeted for the Four Continents Championship, Feb. 14-20 in South Korea.

STRONG SQUAD

Only three of the eight entries named to the world junior team yesterday by Skate Canada competed in junior events at the nationals. The association believes it can win one medal in every discipline in Kitchener.

"It's one of the strongest junior world teams we've had in a few years," said Gayle McClelland, Skate Canada's elite athlete development officer.

Karam and McGrath, who join Londoners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as dance entries in Kitchener, aren't sure yet what their goals will be at the event.

"With the new (scoring) system, we don't really know where we fit in with the other teams this season," she said.

They liked the fit of the gold-medal podium spot during yesterday's medal ceremonies at John Labatt Centre. "It felt really good," said Karam. "It was nice to be in the middle this time."

Gatineau's Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin of North Vancouver, B.C., who won their second straight senior pairs national title on Saturday, were named yesterday to Canada's team for the March 14-20 world championships in Moscow.


Videos

Photos