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Richmond skaters score top 10 in U.S. senior competition debut

Wesley Chiu and Liam Kapeikis made their senior Grand Prix debut in the U.S.
Wesley Chiu (left) and Liam Kapeikis at the ISU Grand Prix in the U.S.

Two Richmond skaters took home sixth and seventh place in the ISU Grand Prix at Norwood, U.S. in October.

Richmond Connaught Skaters Wesley Chiu and Liam Kapeikis made their debut in the senior Grand Prix category at the Skating Club of Boston from Oct. 20 to 23.

Chiu, representing Canada, and Kapeikis, U.S., competed against each other and 10 other athletes in the competition.

Despite several "wobbles and bumps" in his program, Chiu placed sixth and said his skate programs went "pretty well" for his first senior category run.

"It was a pretty solid skate," he said, adding that results were not his main priority this time.

"For my first time, I just wanted to enjoy the experience and do my best and not put pressure on scores or placements."

A bonus to the competition, Chiu added, was when he experienced the first-ever quad axel performed by Ilia Malinin in ISU history.

Meanwhile, Kapeikis who placed seventh, said he wish he could've done better, but was overall happy with his position.

"Obviously I didn't skate perfectly, but I'm happy with how I skated and couldn't have expected much more," said Kapeikis.

Both Chiu and Kaipeikis highlighted the massive energy levels of the fans in the arena that added to their senior debut experience.

The energy helped them "skate better and get through (their) programs," they said.

Keegan Murphy, director of Richmond Connaught Skating Club, said he was proud of how far the two athletes have come.

"(The competition) was super enjoyable and we were all very proud of how they sort of handled their first step into the senior Grand Prix world," said Murphy.

"It was a really big atmosphere in the arena and audience energy can affect athletes differently, but the two of them responded well."