First Grand Prix medal for Scots skater Lewis Gibson

Lewis Gibsoin and Lilah Fear with a member of their coaching team, Josee Piche, at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany in September.
Lewis Gibsoin and Lilah Fear with a member of their coaching team, Josee Piche, at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany in September.
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Scottish ice dancer Lewis Gibson and partner Lilah Fear won their first ever Grand Prix series medal in Canada last night.

The pair scooped bronze in their first Grand Prix of the season - Skate Canada - with a personal best in the free dance and overall. They were awarded a free dance score of 118.68, propelling them a place higher from their rhythm dance standing of fourth - to rank third overall with a total score of 195.35.

Gibson and Fear are now ranked in fifth place in the ISU Grand Prix rankings list. The top six overall at the end of the season will compete in the Grand Prix final in Turin, Italy, in December.

Gibson told The Scotsman: "We were over the moon with our result here in Kelowna and very proud of the two performances that we gave in front of such an amazing audience."

Speaking at a press conference after the event, the pair added: “For us, this is huge. We didn’t expect it. We were really happy that we had two great skates and scored very well.”

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Their second Grand Prix competition will be at the NHK Trophy in Japan at the end of November - just a week before the British Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield, when they are expected to take the ice dance title for the third time. The bronze medal is their first in a Grand Prix series event organised by the International Skating Union.

Breakthrough

Gibson, from Prestwick and Fear enjoyed a breakthrough season last year, when they placed sixth in the European Figure Skating Championships and 13th in the World Figure Skating Championships. The pair train in Montreal under international coaches Romain Haguenauer and Marie-France Dubreuil and have earned a reputation for high-energy dances which have attracted an international following. This year's free programme is to a mix of music by Madonna, including classic Vogue.

They have had a strong start to this year's season, ranking fourth at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany in September and scooping a silver medal at the Autumn Classic in Canada. Both of these competitions were part of the ISU's Challenger Series, a group of senior-level international figure skating competitions ranked below the Grand Prix series.

McKay in fourth

Meanwhile, Dundee solo skater and British champion Natasha McKay was placed fourth after her short programme at the Golden Bear Trophy in Croatia yesterday. Danielle Harrison, who also trains at Dundee, had a disappointing skate and goes into today's free skate in 19th place.