Skate Canada International opened in Mississauga, ON (CAN) Friday with the Short Programs and Short Dance. Skate Canada International is the second of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2016/17. Skaters compete for points to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) wins Ladies Short Program
Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia won the Ladies Short Program. Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada placed second followed by Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.
Skating to “The River Flows in You” by Lorenzo da Luca, Medvedeva nailed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple loop, double Axel and collected a level four for her spins and footwork to score a personal best of 76.24 points. “My performance was really good, but I can have more speed in my spins and I can interpret my program better. My short program corresponds to my current situation, it is about growing up, not so much physically, but about how your inner world changes when you grow up”, the reigning World Champion noted.
Osmond’s routine to “Sous le ciel de Paris” and “Milord” featured a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple Lutz, double Axel and level-four spins and footwork. The former Canadian Champion earned 74.33 points, a personal best as well. “It’s been a long time coming to be able to do a program like that and finally to get a personal best score like that. For so many years I’ve been working towards it and it feels so good to finally do it again, to skate great again”, Osmond commented.
Tuktamysheva landed a triple toe-triple toe combination and triple Lutz in her program to “Piano Concerto No. 23” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The 2015 World Champion picked up a seasons best of 66.79 points. “I had a clean skate today. I was a little nervous before the competition. This is a big step for the future”, the 2015 European Champion said.
Rika Hongo (JPN) is not far behind in fourth place at 65.75 points as is 2015 World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) with 65.24 points.
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford lead after Pairs Short Program
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada took the lead in the Pairs Short Program followed by China’s Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang and Canada’s Liubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch.
Skating to “Killer” by Seal, Duhamel/Radford hit a side by side triple Lutz, a throw triple Axel and received a level four for their lift, side by side spin, footwork and death spiral. The two-time and reigning World Champions posted a new personal best with 78.39 points. “I think it’s always great to start the season with a personal best. It’s pretty difficult to do that, so of course we’re extremely happy. It was a big step to land that throw triple Axel. It has improved a lot in the last couple of weeks, but after Finlandia we had some doubts. We had a little bit of a plan that if it didn’t start working we would go back and do the throw triple Lutz”, Radford explained.
Yu/Zhang’s program to “Eternal Flame” included a side by side triple toe, triple twist and throw triple loop. The Chinese pair earned 69.43 points. “We are a new team and we’ve been skating together for five months, so I think this is a good start for us. Hopefully we’ll skate well tomorrow again”, Zhang told the press.
Iliushechkina/Moscovitch produced a triple twist and throw triple Lutz, but she doubled the side by side toeloop. The Canadian team scored 67.53 points, a new seasons best. “There was an unfortunate mistake on the jump, we’ve been practicing really well, so it was a bit disappointing for it to happen, but all in all I think we regrouped very well throughout the program and we’re happy with how we executed everything else”, Moscovitch said.
Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) came in fourth at 66.50 points and two-time European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) are currently ranked fifth after she fell on the triple toeloop (64.40 points).
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir dance to lead in Short Dance
Canada’s Tessa Virtue/ Scott Moir lead after the Short Dance. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) finished second in the first portion of the Ice Dance event and Canadians Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier are sitting in third place.
Dancing to “Kiss”, “Five Women” and “Purple Rain” by Prince, Virtue/Moir completed smooth footwork, earning a level three for the step sequences and the Blues pattern, produced level-four twizzles and ended with a level-four curve lift. The 2010 Olympic Champions, who had not competed in the past two years, received 77.23 points, just short of their personal best set earlier this season at the Autumn Classic Challenger Series event. “It was a thrill for us to be back out there on the ice, a great start to our season. We’re really looking down the road to PyeongChang and kind of started our journey again today. We left some points on the table level-wise and that we’ll be looking to improve, but for end of October we’re very pleased”, Moir said.
Chock/Bates’ Blues “Bad to the Bone” and Hip Hop “Uptown Funk” included four level-four elements: curve lift, Blues pattern, twizzles and side by side step sequence. The 2016 World bronze medalists set a new personal best with 76.21 points. “This is our third competition this season, which I think really helped us to feel prepared and it was our best skate thus far. We executed our elements the way we wanted to and I think our technical score reflected that. We hope to carry this momentum into the free dance,” Bates told the post-event press conference.
Gilles/Poirier put out a strong performance to the Blues “Oh What A Night For Dancing” and to “Disco Fever” as well, collecting a level four for three elements. The Canadians posted a new personal best score with 72.12 as well. “Today it was a real pleasure to perform our program. We really were able to draw that energy from the audience. There were a few sticky moments, but I think the good thing is that we didn’t let it faze us and we just continued to enjoy the performance,” Poirier pointed out.
Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) finished fourth at 71.08 points and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) came fifth at 68.12 points.
Patrick Chan (CAN) grabs Men’s Short Program
Canada’s Patrick Chan grabbed the Men’s Short Program. Takahito Mura of Japan edged out Canadian Kevin Reynolds for second place.
Chan opened his Beatles routine to “Dear Prudence” and “Black Bird” with a strong quad-triple toeloop combination, but then missed the triple Axel. The three-time World Champion recovered to land a triple Lutz and two level-four spins. The 2016 Four Continents Champion scored 90.56 points, a seasons best. “Today felt good energy, a lot of excitement, lot of adrenalin rushing through the body after landing the opening jump. The Axel just kind of got away from me. I felt very good with the footwork, everything else felt really clean,” Chan commented.
Mura’s “Zapateado” Flamenco program included a triple Axel and triple Lutz, but he stepped out of his quadruple toeloop and earned only a level two for two spins and the footwork. The 2014 Four Continents Champion received 81.24 points. “This was one of the worst short programs I’ve done recently. As far as the spins and the steps are concerned, the levels were very low. I’m quite mad at myself about the short program,” Mura admitted.
Reynolds went for two quads in his Finnish folk program, but underrotated the quad Salchow (in combination with triple toe). The quad toe and the triple Axel were good, but he wobbled on his change foot camel spin. The 2013 Four Continents Champion was awarded 80.57 points. “I was researching all sorts of music in the off season and came across this piece of music and it was a Finnish composer. It’s a compilation of Finnish folk music and it’s a perfect choice with the World Championship being in Helsinki,” the Canadian skater noted.
Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) stands currently in fourth place after missing his quadruple loop attempt and tripling the Salchow (79.65 points). Daniel Samohin (ISR) finished fifth (74.62 points).
Skate Canada International continues Saturday with the Ladies, Pairs and Men’s Free Skating and the Free Dance. A total of 57 skaters/couples from 13 ISU members compete at Skate Canada International. For full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2016/17 please refer to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page.