Skate Canada International continued in Mississauga, ON (CAN) Saturday with the Free Skatings and Free 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) skates to Ladies gold
Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia skated off with the Ladies’ gold medal. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond took the silver medal and Satoko Miyahara of Japan earned the bronze medal.
Skating to the soundtrack from “Extremly Loud And Incredibly Close”, Medvedeva reeled off seven triples including a triple flip-triple toe and triple Salchow-triple toe combination. She collected a level four for her spins and footwork. The only glitch was an underrotated double Axel at the end of the program. The reigning World and European Champion scored 144.41 points and totaled 220.65 points. “Today’s performance wasn’t good for me, because I made mistakes on my two last jumps and this is not okay for me. I will work harder. But I’m so happy to be first today”, the 16-year-old said. “The most important message of my program is that you should appreciate each moment spent with your loved ones, because we don’t know what awaits us tomorrow”, she added.
Osmond’s program to “La Boheme” was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe combination and three more triples, but she fell on a triple loop (the only fall in the Ladies Free Skating). The two-time Canadian Champion set a new personal best for herself with 132.12 points and took the second Grand Prix medal of her career with 206.45 points. “I’m obviously very happy, because I did a personal best again and I’m also glad that there is room for improvement. I’m upset about the fact that I didn’t do my triple loop today and I also didn’t get my second triple toe done”, Osmond explained.
Miyahara completed five clean triples including a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and difficult spins and steps in her program to “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, but two triple jumps were underrotated. The 2015 World silver medalist earned 128.84 points and moved up from fifth to third at 192.08 points overall. “I think it was not my best, but I had a strong feeling to do my best, that was good. The main theme of my program is to be a strong woman and I am focused on performing like a strong woman”, the 2016 Four Continents Champion commented.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) slipped from third to fourth at 187.99 points. Alaine Chartrand (CAN) finished fifth with 185.55 points.
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) win Pairs gold
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada defended their Skate Canada title. China’s Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang claimed the silver in their first Grand Prix event as a team and the bronze went to Liubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch of Canada.
Duhamel/Radford opened their routine to “Non je ne regretted rien” with a triple twist and side by side triple Lutz, but Duhamel crashed on the throw quad Salchow. The two-time World Champions recovered to land a side by side triple toe-double toe-double toe, throw triple Lutz and strong lifts to score a seasons best of 139.92 points. They accumulated 218.30 points to win their third consecutive Skate Canada title. “I think this was a very good beginning of the season long program. There was the obvious fall on the throw quad. We always find it difficult after a really good short, when there is a lot of adrenalin and excitement to go out and maintain that through the long, just at the beginning of the season. I’m just really happy with how we fought back and we finished the program really strong”, Radford noted.
Yu/Zhang’s program to “Cavatina” by Emil von Sauer featured a high triple twist, a triple toe-double toe combination as well as a throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow. The new team picked up 132.69 points and had 202.08 points overall. “Two elements were not perfect, but overall our program was technically and performance-wise good. We’re very happy to have achieved this result in our first competition after five months of training together”, Zhang said.
Iliushechkina/Moscovitch completed a triple twist, throw triple loop and difficult lifts, but they struggled with the side by side jumps and she fell on the throw triple Lutz. The National bronze medalists received 122.69 points, a seasons best, which added up to 190.22 points, and took their first Grand Prix medal as a team. “Today was work for us. It was not an ideal run through, but we stuck to our training, we kept refocusing and working together as a team. We were able to maintain the integrity of the program and get ourselves on the podium”, Moscovitch told the press.
Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) remained in fourth place at 188.23 points while two-time European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) finished fifth with 182.75 points.
Patrick Chan (CAN) grabs Men’s gold
Canada’s Patrick Chan grabbed the gold in the Men’s event. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan pulled up from fourth place to earn the silver medal and Kevin Reynolds of Canada took the bronze.
Performing to “A Journey”, composed by pair skater Eric Radford (CAN), Chan nailed his opening quadruple-triple toeloop combination and triple Axel as well as two more clean triple jumps, but he fell on the quad Salchow and doubled a Lutz and flip towards the end. However, the three-time World Champion collected a level four for his spins and step sequence and scored a seasons best with 176.39 points. The 2014 Olympic silver medalist was ranked second in the Free Skating but held on to first place at 266.95 points. “Good opening, I felt light, I felt confident going into the first two jumps. My goal was to at least rotate the quad Salchow, not matter how I felt going into it. I started dying a little bit and getting heavier towards the end of the program, but it is a good start to the season”, The 2016 Four Continents Champion explained.
Hanyu’s performance to “Hope and Legacy” by Joe Hisaishi included a quad Salchow, quad toeloop, a triple Axel-double toe and triple Axel-single loop-triple Salchow combination as well as level-four spins, but he missed his quad loop attempt. The Olympic Champion won the Free Skating portion with 183.41 points and racked up 263.06 points. “I felt nervous and I didn’t have the focus for the quad loop so I could not land it. But I think I challenged the quad loop in both programs and I can get a very good experience for the (next) Grand Prix event. I feel regrets about the result and my performance, but I am a little satisfied with the second (quad) toe”, the reigning World silver medalist commented.
Reynolds completed a quad Salchow, quad toe-triple toe and quad toe as well as a triple Axel in his routine to “Grand Piano” by Victor Reyes to earn 164.49 points. With 245.06 points overall, he won his first Grand Prix medal. “It feels great to be back on the Grand Prix circuit again as it has been four years since I’ve been on the circuit. To come back from my injury and start the season the way I did with two strong performances here feels great”, the 2013 Four Continents Champion said.
Michal Brezina (CZE) moved up from ninth to fourth place with a strong Free Skating (227.42 points). Daniel Samohin (ISR) remained in fifth place (226.53 points). Takahito Mura (JPN) dropped from third to eighth (222.13 points).
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) dance off with gold
Canada’s Tessa Virtue/ Scott Moir returned in style to competition by taking the gold medal. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) danced to the silver medal and Canadians Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier claimed the bronze.
Virtue/Moir’s dance to “Pilgrims on a long journey” and “Latch” was highlighted by beautiful lifts and intricate footwork. The 2010 Olympic Champions collected a level four for two lifts and the combination spin and a level three for the twizzles, step sequences and the straight line lift. However, Virtue had a wobble on the twizzles. The 2014 Olympic silver medalists were ranked second in the Free Dance with 111.83 points, but edged out Chock/Bates by less than one point to win the tenth Grand Prix gold medal (excluding the Final) with 189.06 points. “Tessa and I were pretty excited about this week. This wasn’t the free dance we’ve been doing in practice, but we were excited with having fought through it. It’s a stepping stone for Tessa and I, we’re just starting to build. Getting back on to the ice under this pressure is something we have to learn to do again”, Moir said.
Performing to “Under Pressure”, Chock/Bates executed six level-four elements, only the serpentine step sequence was rated a level three. The 2016 World bronze medalists achieved a new seasons best score of 112.03 points and won the Free Dance. At 188.24 points the Americans remained in second place. “This was definitely our best performance so far this season. Our program still has room to grow and we’ll definitely keep practicing and work hard on being even more consistent. This was a great start to the Grand Prix circuit for us and we’re excited to go to Russia next week”, Chock commented.
Gilles/Poirier put out a characteristic Tango to “Con Buena Onda”, picking up a level four for the lifts, spin and twizzles and a level three for the step sequences. The 2014 Four Continents silver medalists posted a new personal best with 110.45 points and accumulated 182.57 points. “Paul and I enjoyed every moment of our performance today. I think we did everything we wanted to do here. We’ve improved on our scores every single competition so far and getting a personal best is something we’ve been working towards in every little detail”, Gilles pointed out.
Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) finished fourth with a Charlie Chaplin routine (180.35 points) and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) came fifth at 168.10 points.
Skate Canada International concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. For full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2016/17 please refer to to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page.
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS).