Veteran Canadian pairs duo on Olympic team after withdrawal

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Veteran pairs duo Vanessa James and Eric Radford have been picked for Canada’s Olympic figure skating team despite withdrawing from the national championships this weekend.

James and Radford, who teamed up last spring, contracted COVID-19 just before Christmas. They pulled out of the Canadian competition Friday after their fourth-place finish in the short program.

Their selection on Sunday for the Beijing Games won’t be well-received by some in the sport after Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud won silver with an excellent skate. The Canadian championships, however, are just one of the criteria for qualifying. Team selection also takes recent international results into account.

James and Radford had the best Grand Prix results this season of any of Canada’s pairs teams.