Seoul / Republic of Korea

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2015 continued Saturday at Mokdong Arena in Seoul, Korea with the Pairs and Men’ Free Skating.

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) claim gold

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada claimed the Pairs gold. China’s Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang took the silver medal and the bronze went to their teammates Qing Pang/Jian Tong.

Skating to a Muse medley, Duhamel/Radford landed a triple twist, throw quadruple Salchow, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination and throw triple Lutz and picked up a level four for four elements. However, they both struggled with the landing of the side by side triple Lutz. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champions scored 143.81 points and accumulated 219.48 points overall to win their second Four Continents title since 2013. “We're especially proud of the throw quad, because we both made a mistake on the triple Lutz and then we have to turn around so quickly to do the hardest element and that took a lot of mental strength from us. And that is something that I'm extremely proud of.  I think for Worlds we want to add more speed and energy to the program”, Duhamel said.

Peng/Zhang’s program to the Allegretto from Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio was highlighted by a quadruple twist, throw triple loop and Salchow as well as difficult lifts, but Peng fell on the double Axel. The Cup of China Champions posted a new personal best with 131.64 points and totaled 201.45 points. „This is our first medal at this event and we got more than 200 points which is nice, but we made mistakes. So hopefully at the World Championships we can skate better than that“, Peng noted.

Pang/Tong produced a triple twist, throw triple Salchow and loop as well as three level-four elements in their routine to “Io Ci Saro”, but she singled an Axel and doubled the toeloop. The 2010 Olympic silver medalists earned 133.12 points and were ranked second in the Free Skating. With 199.99 points, the two-time World Champions moved up from second to third. “We have five gold medals from this event and this time it is the bronze, but it is more exciting, because this is the first competition for us since we came back. This competition is a good practice for us before the World Championships and an encouragement for our last competition in Shanghai”, Tong told the press.

Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) dropped from second to fourth at 198.88 points. They performed a quadruple twist, but their pair combination spin received no level. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) remained in fifth place with 187.98 points followed by Lubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) with 173.50 points).

Denis Ten (KAZ) strikes gold

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan struck gold, taking the first ISU Championship title for his country. Joshua Farris (USA) moved up from fifth to collect the silver medal and the bronze went to China’s Han Yan.

Ten reeled off a quadruple toe, a quadruple-triple toe combination, triple Axel-double toe, four more clean triples as well as level-four spins and footwork in his program to “Ambush From Ten Sides” and “Vocussion”. The only glitch was a wobbly solo triple Axel. The Olympic bronze medalist set a new personal best score with 191.85 points and racked up a total of 289.46 points to take his first medal at the ISU Four Continents Championships. “Today exactly one year I got a medal at the Olympic Games and I think this is a good way to celebrate the anniversary of my medal. My major goal for this season was to perform well at this competition”, the 2013 World silver medalist noted. “I was just so happy with how I skated, because I can’t say I was in top condition today. Overall it was a good skate, but honestly wanted to skate even stronger than that. I was ready for it, but I was maybe a bit tired”, he added.

Performing to “Schindler’s List”, Farris hit a triple Axel, a shaky quadruple toeloop as well as six clean triples, difficult spins and footwork to score 175.72 points, surpassing his previous personal best by 23 points. The 2013 World Junior Champion won his first medal at the Four Continents Championships with a total score of 260.01 points. “I felt very nervous, I was shaking all day. But once I got out there, I turned those nerves into determination. It worked. I can’t believe it. Considering I wasn’t expecting it (the silver medal), I’m ecstatic. I worked very hard and I feel like I deserve the skates I had and I’m proud”, the 20-year-old commented.

Yan’s program to “Fly Me to the Moon” featured a triple Axel-triple toe, another triple Axel, a wobbly quad toe and for good triples. The 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist picked up a personal best of 172.13 points and was ranked third in the Free Skating, but remained in third place with 259.47 points overall. “It was the best performance of the season but not yet my best level. My training has been going well therefore I was able to land the jumps. This gives me confidence for the World Championships”, the 2012 World Junior Champion explained.

Daisuke Murakami (JPN) finished third in the Free Skating and fourth overall with another strong performance that included two quadruple Salchows (256.47 points). Shoma Uno (JPN) dropped from second to fifth after a few errors (256.45 points) and Jason Brown (USA) moved up from ninth to sixth at 243.21 points.

The ISU Four Continents Championships conclude Sunday with the Ladies Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala.