Canadian ice dancers within striking distance of podium at junior worlds

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., are in the medal hunt after placing fifth in Thursday's short dance at the world junior figure skating championships in Taipei City.

"It went super well, we were really well focused on the ice," Lajoie said in a press release. "To be fifth right now is better than we expected but it's not going to affect how we prepare for the free skate. We are going keep the same plan and not worry about results.''

Lajoie and Lagha finished 13th in last year's competition.

Russian duo Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd are first (67.59), Americans Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons are second (67.29) and Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia sit third at (63.38).

Lajoie and Lagha scored 60.79.

Zhou golden in junior men, Canada's Nadeau 12th

In junior men's competition, American skater Vincent Zhou took gold with 258.11 while Russian teammates Dmitri Aliev (247.31) and Alexander Samarin (245.53) took silver and brinze, respectively.
Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., was the top Canadian in 12th, while Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., 13th and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., 17th.
''I'm proud of what I've done at my first junior worlds," Orzel said. ''I did everything I planned and delivered my best skate of the season. I was a bit star truck this week with the great skaters here and the whole experience was very inspiring."

Competition continues with the ladies free program on Thursday at 11 p.m. ET.