According to the International Skating Union, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ontario have won the NHK Trophy in ice dancing at Osaka, Japan. Weaver and Poje posted a score of 169.42 points to beat Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin of Russia by a whopping 16.88 points. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the United States won the bronze medal with a score of 146.41 points.
For Weaver and Poje, it was their second International Skating Union victory of the 2014 grand prix figure skating season. They also won Skate Canada earlier this month in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Weaver and Poje are part of a very deep Canadian ice dancing team at the moment. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Ottawa, Ontario have two silver medals on the grand prix circuit this season. Like Weaver and Poje, they had a podium finish at Skate Canada, and also finished on the podium in second place in Bordeaux, France last week at the Trophee Eric Bompard. Also, Canadian Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of London, Ontario are still considering their future in figure skating after winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
In analyzing the results of the NHK Trophy, it was good to see a significant amount of movement in the standings from the short program to the long program. Out of the eight teams that participated, only Weaver and Poje finished with the same result in the long program as they did after the short program. Throughout the history of international ice dancing competitions, that kind of movement in the standings generally does not occur.
Weaver and Poje now join Gilles and Poirier and pairs skaters Megan Duhamel of Lively, Ontario and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ontario as the Canadians who have qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final. That competition will go from December 11-14 in Barcelona, Spain.