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Chan, Virtue and Moir to skip world championships

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. CANADIAN OLYMPIC TEAM

Canada’s Olympic medallists Patrick Chan and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are skipping the world figure skating championships.

Chan won silver in men’s singles at the Sochi Olympics last month, while Virtue and Moir, who were expected to retire after the Games, won ice dance silver.

Chan and Virtue and Moir also led Canada to silver in the inaugural team event.

The 23-year-old Chan of Toronto is the three-time defending world champion, but was upset by 18-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu at the Sochi Games.

Pairs teams Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, and ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje will lead the 17-member Canadian team at the world championships, March 24-30 in Saitama, Japan.

Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Toronto’s Moscovitch were fifth in Sochi, while Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., the reigning world bronze medallists, were seventh.

Paige Lawrence and Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., are Canada’s third pairs team at the world championships.

Weaver and Poje, from Waterloo, Ont., were seventh in ice dance in Sochi. Canada’s two other ice dance teams for Japan are Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., and Toronto’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., is Canada’s top-ranked men’s singles skater. Reynolds had a frustrating Olympics finishing 15th after an error-filled short program left him well out of the medal chances. Elladj Balde of Pierrefonds, Que., and 15-year-old Nam Nguyen of Toronto will also compete in men’s singles.

Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., will skate in women’s singles. Osmond was 13th in her Olympic debut.