Zachary Lagha

Zachary Lagha (born April 15, 1999) is a Canadian ice dancer. With his skating partner Marjorie Lajoie, he is the 2020 Canadian national silver medalist.

Zachary Lagha
2017-2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Marjorie Lajoie Zachary Lagha.jpg
Lajoie/Lagha in December 2017
Personal information
Country representedCanada
Born (1999-04-15) April 15, 1999 (age 21)
Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada
Home townSaint-Hubert, Quebec
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
PartnerMarjorie Lajoie
CoachMarie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis
ChoreographerMarie-France Dubreuil, Romain Haguenauer
Skating clubCPA Saint-Lambert
Training locationsMontreal, Quebec
Former training locationsSaint-Hubert, Quebec
Began skating2004
ISU personal best scores
Combined total192.11
2020 Four Continents
Short dance76.43
2020 Four Continents
Free dance115.68
2020 Four Continents

On the junior level, he is the 2019 World Junior champion, the 2016 Youth Olympic bronze medalist in the team event, the 2018 JGP Canada champion, the 2017 JGP Croatia champion, and a three-time Canadian national junior champion.

Personal lifeEdit

Lagha was born on April 15, 1999, in Greenfield Park, Quebec.[1] He studies in Human Sciences and also studies piano, entering musical competitions in the skating off-season.[2] In June 2018 he won a scholarship after winning first round and getting to the final at the prestigious Canadian Music Competition.[3] Lagha is currently a student in CEGEP (Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel).[4]

Skating careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Lagha began learning to skate in 2004.[1] He teamed up with Marjorie Lajoie in 2011.[5] They won the novice title at the 2015 Canadian Championships, coached by Julien Lalonde, Mylène Girard, and Valérie Allard in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.[6]

2015–2016 season: Junior debutEdit

Following their novice title win, the two ended their partnership, later stating that at the time they had different ideas. Subsequently, Lagha transferred to train with Marie-France Dubreuil, who encouraged them to reunite in the summer of 2015.[2][3][7] They then moved to train with Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, and Pascal Denis in Montreal, Quebec.[8] Making their junior international debut, they placed seventh at a Junior Grand Prix (JGP) event in early October 2015 in Logroño, Spain.

In January 2016, Lajoie/Lagha were awarded the junior silver medal at the Canadian Championships, after placing fourth in the short dance and second in the free. The following month, they placed fourth in the main competition at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Hamar, Norway. Competing as members of Team Discovery, they won the bronze medal in the team event.[9] In March, they ranked eleventh in the short dance, thirteenth in the free dance, and thirteenth overall at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Debrecen, Hungary.

2016–2017 season: First national titleEdit

Competing in the 2016 JGP series, Lajoie/Lagha placed fourth in Yokohama, Japan, and Dresden, Germany. At Skate Canada Challenge 2017, they broke the Canadian record in Junior ice dance, held since 2005 by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.[10] They won the junior national title at the 2017 Canadian Championships. In March, they placed fifth in the short dance, seventh in the free dance, and sixth overall at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Taipei, Taiwan.

2017–2018 season: Second national titleEdit

Lajoie/Lagha opened the 2017 JGP series with a silver medal win at the JGP Australia event in Brisbane. They went on to win gold at JGP Croatia in Zagreb, setting new personal bests in the short dance and combined total score. These results qualified them for the Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan. Lajoie sustained a concussion and a hip injury as a result of a fall in practice. After a month recuperating, she returned to training two weeks before the Junior Grand Prix Final, where the duo placed sixth.[2][3][11]

Lajoie/Lagha defended their junior national title at the 2018 Canadian Championships, breaking their own Canadian record.[10] They closed out the season at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. They placed second in the short dance, earning a silver small medal, but placed fifth in the free dance, resulting in them placing narrowly off the podium in fourth place. Lajoie commented: "The free dance went super well for us. We were in the moment and managed the stress. We achieved our goal by being in the mix for a spot on the podium."[12]

2018–2019 season: Junior World titleEdit

After some debate over their free program music for the year, Lagha proposed Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, which was subsequently adopted. Desiring not to do a classical tango for the rhythm dance, Lajoie and Lagha picked a medley of songs by the contemporary Argentinian group Otros Aires.[2][4]

Lajoie/Lagha began the 2018 JGP series at the JGP Austria event in Linz, winning the silver medal. The team's choreographic character step sequence was ruled invalid, costing them points. Lajoie expressed dissatisfaction with the performance, stating "the presentation was good but there’s a lot of work to do at the technical level."[13] They took gold at JGP Canada, scoring personal bests in both segments, breaking again the junior Canadian record,[10] and qualified to their second Junior Grand Prix Final.[4] At the Final the duo placed fourth, 0.03 points behind bronze medalists Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov, following a 1 point deduction for an extended lift.[14]

At the 2019 Canadian Championships, Lajoie/Lagha won their third consecutive junior title, a national record.[15] Their margin over silver medalists Alicia Fabbri / Paul Ayer was 21.14 points.[16] As a "test run" for the World Junior Championships the two then competed at the 2019 Bavarian Open, an event they had won silver at two seasons prior, this time winning gold, 24.7 points ahead of silver medalists Fabbri/Ayer.[17]

Concluding the season at the 2019 World Junior Championships, Lajoie/Lagha placed first in the rhythm dance, setting a new junior world record of 70.14. They were awarded a gold small medal for the result.[18] They then won the free dance as well, setting new world records for that segment and for total score, taking the World Junior title. Lajoie/Lagha were only the second Canadian team to win World Junior gold in ice dance, the first being Virtue and Moir in 2006. Lagha said that rewarding after a number of disappointing results in the previous two seasons.[19]

2019–2020 season: Senior debutEdit

Lajoie/Lagha began their senior career with two Challenger events. They placed seventh at the 2019 CS Lombardia Trophy, which Lajoie described as a disappointment following twizzle errors by her in the free dance. They next came fourth at the 2019 CS Finlandia Trophy, missing the podium by less than two points due to an invalidated choreographic character step. Despite that, Lajoie called the result "a big step up for us."[20] Making their senior Grand Prix debut at the 2019 Skate Canada International, they placed seventh in the rhythm dance and then moved up to sixth following the free dance.[21] Competing at the 2019 Rostelecom Cup, they placed seventh after struggles in the rhythm dance.[22]

With training mates and presumptive silver medalists Fournier Beaudry/Sørensen sitting out the 2020 Canadian Championships, Lajoie/Lagha were in competition with Soucisse/Firus for the silver medal. Both teams made errors in the rhythm dance, with Lagha bobbling on his twizzle sequence, but they nevertheless placed second in the rhythm dance.[23] Clean in the free dance but for Lagha stumbling in a choreographic sequence, they were second in that segment as well and won the silver medal, earning assignments to both the Four Continents Championships and the World Championships in their home town of Montreal.[24]

Competing at Four Continents in Seoul, Lajoie/Lagha placed fifth in the rhythm dance with a new personal best score of 76.43, an increase of over five points internationlly. They unexpectedly placed ahead of American national bronze medalists Hawayek/Baker, who fell out of their lift.[25] They placed behind Hawayek/Baker in the free dance, but remained in fifth place overall, again recording significant improvements in their free dance and total scores. Lagha said afterward "there was not one time this season yet when we skated without any major mistakes. Even at nationals there were some stumbles, but now we finally did two good performances."[26]

Though scheduled to make their World Championship debut, this was prevented by the cancellation of the Montreal World Championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both reported being disappointed, but Lajoie added "our season before this was very good, so it’s not the end of the world."[27]

ProgramsEdit

(with Lajoie)

Season Rhythm dance Free dance
2019–2020
[28]
2018–2019
[1][2]
  • Tango: Perro Viejo
  • Tango: Otro Puente Alsina
  • Tango: Essa
    by Otros Aires
    choreo. by Romain Haguenauer
Short dance
2017–2018
[29]
  • Cha cha: Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha
    by Petty Booka
  • Samba: Tu Picadura
    by Gary Tesca
2016–2017
[30]
2015–2016
[8]
  • Don Quixote
    by Ludwig Minkus
    • Pas de Deux Ktiri and Basilio
    • Quiteria's Variation
    • Classical Variation I
    • Pas de Deux Kitri and Basilio V. Coda
2014–2015
[31]
  • Don Quixote
    by Ludwig Minkus
2013–2014
[32]

Records and achievementsEdit

(with Lagha)

Junior world record scoresEdit

Lajoie/Lagha set four junior world record scores under the new +5 / -5 GOE (Grade of Execution) system, and currently hold one.

Junior ice dance combined total records[33]
Date Score Event Note
9 March 2019 176.10 2019 World Junior Championships Later surpassed by Avonley Nguyen / Vadym Kolesnik at the 2020 World Junior Championships.
Junior ice dance rhythm dance records[33]
Date Score Event Note
7 March 2019 70.14 2019 World Junior Championships Current junior world record holder.
Junior ice dance free dance records[33]
Date Score Event Note
9 March 2019 105.96 2019 World Junior Championships Later surpassed by Maria Kazakova / Georgy Reviya at the 2019–20 JGP Final.
24 August 2018 100.95 2018 JGP Canada Later surpassed by Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov at the 2018 JGP Armenia.

Competitive highlightsEdit

CS: Challenger Series; GP: Grand Prix; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

with Lajoie
International[11]
Event 11–12 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19 19–20
Worlds EC
Four Continents 5th
GP Rostelecom 7th
GP Skate Canada 6th
CS Finlandia 4th
CS Lombardia 7th
International: Junior[11]
Junior Worlds 13th 6th 4th 1st
Youth Olympics 4th
JGP Final 6th 4th
JGP Australia 2nd
JGP Austria 2nd
JGP Canada 1st
JGP Croatia 1st
JGP Germany 4th
JGP Japan 4th
JGP Spain 7th
Bavarian Open 2nd 1st
National[6][11]
Canadian Champ. 1st N 2nd J 1st J 1st J 1st J 2nd
SC Challenge 1st P 2nd N 2nd J 1st J
Quebec Section 1st V 5th P 1st P 1st N 1st J 1st J
Team events
Youth Olympics 3rd T
3rd P
TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew; EC = Event cancelled
Levels: V = Juvenile; P = Pre-novice; N = Novice; J = Junior
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

Detailed resultsEdit

(With Lajoie)

ISU personal bests highlighted in bold. Small medals for rhythm and free dances awarded at ISU Championships only.

2019–20 season
Date Event RD FD Total
February 4–9, 2020 2020 Four Continents Championships 5
76.43
6
115.68
5
192.11
January 13–19, 2020 2020 Canadian Championships 2
77.26
2
121.66
2
198.92
November 15–17, 2019 2019 Rostelecom Cup 8
64.70
7
105.20
7
169.90
October 25–27, 2019 2019 Skate Canada International 7
70.50
6
107.87
6
177.53
October 11–13, 2019 2019 CS Finlandia Trophy 4
70.75
4
102.94
4
173.69
September 13–15, 2019 2019 CS Lombardia Trophy 5
67.94
7
97.77
7
165.71
2018–19 season
Date Event RD FD Total
March 4–10, 2019 2019 World Junior Championships 1
70.14
1
105.96
1
176.10
February 5–10, 2019 2019 Bavarian Open 1
67.35
1
101.99
1
169.34
January 14–20, 2018 2019 Canadian Junior Championships 1
70.87
1
108.84
1
179.71
December 6–7, 2018 2018–19 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final 4
66.25
3
98.26
4
164.51
September 12–15, 2018 2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Canada 1
65.67
1
100.95
1
166.52
August 29 – September 1, 2018 2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Austria 2
63.95
2
89.84
2
153.79
2017–18 season
Date Event SD FD Total
March 5–11, 2018 2018 World Junior Championships 2
62.39
5
83.83
4
146.22
January 8–14, 2018 2018 Canadian Junior Championships 1
65.02
1
89.38
1
154.40
December 8–9, 2017 2017–18 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final 4
60.52
6
80.76
6
141.28
September 29–30, 2017 2017 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Croatia 1
62.89
1
87.41
1
150.30
August 25–26, 2017 2017 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Australia 2
58.55
2
80.37
2
138.92
2016–17 season
Date Event SD FD Total
March 15–19, 2017 2017 World Junior Championships 5
60.79
7
87.47
6
148.26
February 14–19, 2017 2017 Bavarian Open 3
53.24
1
87.96
2
141.20
January 16–22, 2017 2017 Canadian Junior Championships 1
61.62
1
91.93
1
153.55
October 5–8, 2016 2016 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Germany 3
57.32
4
82.35
4
139.67
September 9–11, 2016 2016 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Japan 4
57.02
4
80.12
4
137.14
2015–16 season
Date Event SD FD Total
March 14–20, 2016 2016 World Junior Championships 11
52.57
13
75.49
13
128.06
February 20, 2016 2016 Winter Youth Olympics (team event) 3
73.78
3T/3P
73.78
February 14–16, 2016 2016 Winter Youth Olympics 4
51.06
4
74.81
4
125.87
January 18–24, 2016 2016 Canadian Junior Championships 4
56.29
2
84.94
2
141.23
September 30 – October 3, 2015 2015 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Spain 7
52.50
6
77.41
7
129.91

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA: 2018/2019". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lajoie & Lagha look ahead to the senior ranks". Ice-Dance.com. September 13, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Russell, Susan D. (December 1, 2018). "Lajoie-Lagha prepared for Final challenge". International Figure Skating Magazine.
  4. ^ a b c Slater, Paula (November 18, 2018). "Lajoie and Lagha look to Junior Grand Prix Final". Golden Skate.
  5. ^ "Ice Dance". Official website of Zachary Lagha. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha at Patinage Québec
  7. ^ "2016 Canadian National Championships: Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha". ice-dance.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  8. ^ a b "Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA: 2015/2016". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 27, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  9. ^ "Athletes: LAGHA Zachary". Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Archived from the original on March 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c https://skatecanada.ca/national-team/skating-records/
  11. ^ a b c d "Competition Results: Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Lajoie and Lagha fourth in close ice dance competition at world juniors". The Canadian Press. The National Post. March 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "Canada's Lajoie and Lagha win silver at ISU Junior Grand Prix". Skate Canada. September 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Slater, Paula (December 7, 2018). "Shocked, Shevchenko and Eremenko pocket gold in Vancouver". Golden Skate.
  15. ^ Harvey-Pinard, Katherine (January 17, 2019). "Lagha et Lajoie sacrés champions canadiens juniors pour une troisième année". Courrier du Sud.
  16. ^ "2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships - Junior Ice Dance Results" (PDF). Skate Canada.
  17. ^ "Lajoie and Lagha lead Canada to 1-2 finish at Bavarian Open". Skate Canada. February 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Slater, Paula (March 7, 2019). "Lajoie and Lagha first after Rhythm Dance in Zagreb". Golden Skate.
  19. ^ Slater, Paula (March 9, 2019). "Canada's Lajoie and Lagha take ice dance title at Junior Worlds". Golden Skate.
  20. ^ "Canadian ice dancers Lajoie, Lagha finish fourth at Finlandia Open". Times Colonist. October 13, 2019.
  21. ^ Slater, Paula (October 27, 2019). "Canada's Gilles and Poirier snag Skate Canada title". Golden Skate.
  22. ^ Slater, Paula (November 16, 2019). "Sinitsina and Katsalapov take second consecutive Grand Prix gold in Moscow". Golden Skate.
  23. ^ Flett, Ted (January 17, 2020). "Gilles and Poirier 'tap troubles away' in Mississauga". Golden Skate.
  24. ^ Flett, Ted (January 18, 2020). "Gilles and Porier strike gold in Mississauga". Golden Skate.
  25. ^ Slater, Paula (February 6, 2020). "Hubbell and Donohue take narrow lead at Four Continents". Golden Skate.
  26. ^ Slater, Paula (February 7, 2020). "Chock and Bates defend title at Four Continents". Golden Skate.
  27. ^ Hickey, Pat (March 12, 2020). "Season ends in disappointment for figure skaters Lagha and Lajoie". Montreal Gazette.
  28. ^ "Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA: 2019/2020". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019.
  29. ^ "Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA: 2017/2018". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 26, 2018.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  30. ^ "Marjorie LAJOIE / Zachary LAGHA: 2016/2017". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 21, 2017.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  31. ^ "2015 Canadian National Championships: Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha". ice-dance.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  32. ^ "Canadian Champions pre-novice dance: Marjorie Lajoie et Zachary Lagha: Austin Powers". YouTube.
  33. ^ a b c "ISU Judging System – Highest Total Scores: Ice Dance". International Skating Union.

External linksEdit

World Junior Record Holders
Preceded by
  Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov
Junior Rhythm Dance
7 March 2019 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
  Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov
  Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov
Junior Free Dance
14 September 2018 – 13 October 2018
9 March 2019 – 7 December 2019
Succeeded by
  Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov
  Maria Kazakova / Georgy Reviya
Preceded by
  Arina Ushakova / Maxim Nekrasov
Junior Ice Dance Total Score
9 March 2019 – 7 March 2020
Succeeded by
  Maria Kazakova / Georgy Reviya