Scots ice dancer Lewis Gibson and partner Lilah Fear win bronze at Grand Prix in Japan

Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson won a bronze medal at the NHK Trophy in Japan.Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson won a bronze medal at the NHK Trophy in Japan.
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson won a bronze medal at the NHK Trophy in Japan.
Scots ice dancer Lewis Gibson and partner Lilah Fear scooped a bronze medal at their final Grand Prix of the season as they unveiled plans to add complexity to their free dance ahead of the Winter Olympic Games.

The pair scored 115.49 in the free dance at the NHK Trophy in Japan, taking their total score to 191.91, more than three points ahead of Sarah Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain, who were lying just 0.03 points below them after the rhythm dance yesterday morning.

The medal comes just three months before the pair compete in the Winter Olympics for the first time in Beijing in February.

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The event was won by Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalpov of Rusisa, with a score of 215.44 overall, followed by Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who scored 210.78 overall, despite a fall by Mr Bates early on in the free dance.

Mr Gibson, from Prestwick, and Ms Fear said they had already reworked parts of their free dance programme since the Skate Canada Grand Prix in Vancouver two weeks ago, where they finished a disappointing seventh. They previously won bronze at their previous performance in Skate Canada in 2019. The Grand Prix series runs before the European and World Figure Skating Championships later in the season, with skaters invited to take part in one or two events.

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Scots ice dancer Lewis Gibson lying in medal position in Japanese Grand Prix NHK...

Ms Fear said: “We did a lot of work in four days between Vancouver and now. There were things we were happy with [in the performance] but there were a few technical errors, so we really made ourselves uncomfortable last week, we really pushed those and we feel like it came along in four days. We had a lot of improvement to make and a lot of feedback from that competition. We still know where we want to grow and we see so much potential in this programme. We’re not satisfied yet, but we’re really proud of the performance we put out today.

"We have some ideas for the choreo lift, we want to spice it up a little bit, so we’re going to be working off ice to see if we can find something a little more difficult and impressive because there is so much creativity with that element. Overall, just expanding the skating skills and really implementing them in the programme because we’ve done so much work on that outside of the programme.”

She added: "We are so pleased [to have won the bronze]. We had more of a disappointing Grand Prix two weeks ago and we were really hungry to come out here to make progress and I feel like we did that.

"We’ve never experienced an Olympic season before, it’s just new for us. It feels normal so far, but then there’s an extra competition thrown in that’s pretty exciting and pretty important, so I think those feelings will arise going into that.”

Gibson: We want to work on the consistency of all of the elements, so it’s just nice and seamless throughout the whole programme. It was so great being in front of such a welcoming crowd, it really makes a difference.”

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