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Skater James hopes for top ten finish

Bermudian figure skater Vanessa James and her partner Morgan Cipres have made a strong start to this week’s ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, France.

After finishing second in Monday’s preliminary round, the duo were among eight couples competing in yesterday’s Pairs Short programme.

China’s Wenjing Sui/Cong Han captured the Pairs preliminary round followed by James and Cipres of France and Germany’s Mari Vartmann/Aaron van Cleave.

After Sui/Han put out a solid performance to a Flamenco medley on Monday, James and Cipres, skating to “Nostalgia” by Yanni, produced a double twist, throw triple loop and side by side double Axel.

However, James put down her hand on the side by side triple toe.

The French earned 96.48 points. She said: “I’m happy about this performance and now I’d like to progress and improve (in the next round), fix what I didn’t do (in this preliminary round).

“If we skate clean programmes we have a chance to be top 10 and that is our goal here.”

James, who competed at the Vancouver Olympics with former partner Yannick Bonheur after the duo won the 2010 French National Championships, first met singles Cipres in September 2010 and spent the season just training.

The two then started competing and won last year’s Master’s de Patinage which is an annual competition held in Orléans, France. And then in December James and Cipres won the silver medal at the French National Championships.

James and Cipres currently train at Bercy, France with coach Jean-Roland Racle and hope to represent France at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Before becoming a French citizen, James, who is also the cousin of top Bermuda tennis player Tyler Smith, was the former British National Champion (2006) in singles and in 2007 won the silver medal.

She switched to pairs skating in 2007 and teamed up with Yannick Bonheur to compete for France. Following the Vancouver Olympics the pair decided to split.

James twin sister, Melyssa James, is also a figure skater.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France perform during their Pairs Short programme at the ISU 2012 World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, southern France, yesterday.

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Published March 29, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 29, 2012 at 9:20 am)

Skater James hopes for top ten finish

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