Seven skaters to represent Canada at NHK
Phaneuf, Weaver and Poje highlight entries in Sapporo
|Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje will compete at this week's NHK Trophy. (Getty Images)|
In the ice dance category, Kaitlyn Weaver, 22, Waterloo, Ontario, and Andrew Poje, 24, Waterloo, Ontario, are one of two Canadian dance teams at the event. This will be their third time competing at NHK Trophy. Last season they earned a silver medal at this event, and in 2008 they placed seventh. Weaver and Poje are coming off a silver-medal performance at Skate Canada International, their first assignment this season. They are coached by Pasquale Camerlengo, Angelika Krylova and Shae-Lynn Bourne in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Alexandra Paul, 20, Barrie, Ontario, and Mitchell Islam, 21, Barrie, Ontario, are also representing Canada in ice dancing. They placed eighth at their first assignment this season, Skate America. Paul and Islam also won bronze at the 2011 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. They train in Barrie, Ontario, with coaches David Islam, Tyler Myles and Kelly Johnson.
In the ladies discipline, Cynthia Phaneuf, 23, Contrecoeur, Quebec, will be competing at the NHK Trophy for the third time in her career, having placed sixth in 2009 and seventh in 2008. Phaneuf is Canada's reigning national champion and the seventh-place finisher at 2011 Skate Canada International, her first Grand Prix assignment this season. Phaneuf trains with Annie Barabé, Sophie Richard and Yvan Desjardins at CPA Sorel.
Natasha Purich, 16, Sherwood Park, Alberta, and Raymond Schultz, 21, Toronto, Ontario, will be the sole Canadian team competing in pairs. This is their second year competing together, and the NHK Trophy will be their first competition on the Grand Prix circuit. Last season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, Purich and Schultz earned bronze at both of their assignments, in Great Britain and the Czech Republic, and placed seventh at the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in China. They are coached by Ravi Walia at the Ice Palace FSC in Edmonton.