Radford, James skate to 2nd in short program in international debut as team

© Getty Images Vanessa James, left, and Eric Radford, right, made their international debut as a team at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International in Montreal on Thursday.

New Canadian pairs duo Vanessa James and Eric Radford are sitting in second place after the short program at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International — their international debut as a team. 

James and Radford started off strong with their triple twist, but had trouble on their second element — a side-by-side jump that saw James go down after doubling her salchow. 

The team rebounded with a clean throw triple flip, ultimately earning a score of 68.29. 

Radford, a three-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion, announced in April that he and James were coming out of retirement to compete together. James previously competed for France, topping the podium at European and Grand Prix Final championships, as well as earning bronze at worlds.

The news came ahead of the season leading up to the Beijing 2022 Olympics, where Canada is slated to send two pairs teams. 

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, reigning national champions, are atop the leaderboard heading into Friday’s free program after scoring 72.32 in Montreal on Thursday. 

Fellow Canadians Deanna Sellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps are one spot off the podium, earning 57.83 with their short, while Canada’s Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland are in seventh with 51.17. 

CBC Sports is streaming the figure skating competition live from Montreal on the CBC Sports website and through the CBC Sports App. 

Live coverage resumes Friday at 12:40 p.nm ET with the senior men’s short program

Other action includes the senior ice dance rhythm dance at 2 p.m. ET, the senior pairs free program at 3:45 p.m. ET and the senior women’s free program at 6:15 p.m. ET.

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