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Top Canadians head to Moncton for 2012 nationals

Competition to be held Jan. 16-22 at Moncton Coliseum Complex

Patrick Chan will go for his fifth straight Canadian title next week in Moncton.
Patrick Chan will go for his fifth straight Canadian title next week in Moncton. (AFP)

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By Skate Canada
(01/10/2012) - Nearly 300 of Canada's top-ranked figure skaters will be traveling to Moncton, New Brunswick, for the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. The exclusive group of Canadian skaters will compete at the Moncton Coliseum Complex from Jan. 16-22, 2012. The competition will feature novice and junior skaters competing from Jan. 16-19 and senior skaters competing from Jan. 20-22.

Within this elite field, Canada boasts numerous world-ranked skaters. Many of those competing at the 2012 Canadian Championships have already seen success on the world stage, at both the junior and senior levels.

Among the competitors is the reigning world champion and Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final gold medalist Patrick Chan. Chan will be looking to defend his Canadian title for the fourth consecutive year. He trains in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is coached by Christy Krall.

In the ice dance category, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will be returning to the Canadian Championships after missing last year due to injury. This season they won gold at Skate Canada International and Trophée Eric Bompard in France, and won silver at the Grand Prix Final. Virtue and Moir are seeking their fourth Canadian title. They train at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton, Mich., with their coaches Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.

In the ladies event, Cynthia Phaneuf will be defending last year's title. Phaneuf also won the Canadian championship in 2004. This season, she placed seventh at Skate Canada International and ninth at the NHK Trophy in Japan. Phaneuf trains with Brian Orser at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club.

Also returning to defend their title are pairs skaters Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch. They won bronze at both of their events, in the U.S. and China this year. Moore-Towers and Moscovitch train with Kris Wirtz and Kristy Wirtz in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are the 2011 Canadian silver medalists. They won bronze at both Skate Canada International and Trophée Eric Bompard in France this season, and placed fifth at the Grand Prix Final. The team is coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte at CPA Saint-Léonard.

Joining Virtue and Moir in the ice dance category are Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who represented Canada at three Grand Prix events this season. Weaver and Poje won three silver medals this season, at Skate Canada International, NHK Trophy and the Rostelecom Cup. Most recently, they finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final. Weaver and Poje are coached by Pasquale Camerlengo, Angelika Krylova and Shae-Lynn Bourne in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Andrei Rogozine is the 2011 world junior champion and 2010 Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist. He will be competing as a senior after placing seventh at Skate Canada International and sixth at the Rostelecom Cup. He is coached by Inga Zusev and Andrei Berezintsev.

This will be the fourth time Moncton has hosted the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. It hosted previously in 1974, 1985 and 1992. Moncton also played host to Skate Canada International in 1977.

Athletes will be competing for spots on the Skate Canada National Team and the Canadian teams that will compete at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships, the 2012 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and the 2012 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.