Dance pair finish out of the spotlight

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- This just wasn't the year to become new Canadian dance champions.

Not only were they skating in compulsory and original programs that started after midnight Eastern and thus getting no TV time and next to no newspaper coverage, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir put away the title on a day when first-rate men's and pairs programs also produced new champions in Patrick Chan and Cody Hay and Annabelle Langlois.

"We're O.K. with that," said Virtue. "We're excited about what's happened to skating in Canada here this year."

Moir called it their "top performance of the year."

And Virtue made the point "to do it in the same venue where the Olympics will be held in two years was great for us. It's going to give us nothing but confidence for the future."

The two finished a whopping 37 points ahead of second place Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont. Third place Allie Hann-McCurdy and Michael Coreno out of B.C. also made the team for the world championships.

Virtue and Moir, the London, Ont. team who finished fourth at the GrandPrix final this year, went from fourth to third to second to first the past four years at Canadians. In 2006 they became the first Canucks to win a gold medal in dance at the World Junior.

If 18-year-old Mira Leung defeats defending champion Joannie Rochette in the women's free skate final which begins at the insane hour of 8:45 a.m. local time today, it would mean a new Canadian champion in every division. The last time there were four new Canadian champions the same year was when Kurt Browning won his first title in 1989.


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