To the delight of the home crowd, Canada’s Keegan Messing took the Men’s Short Program as the Skate Canada International continued with the Men’s Short Program Friday in Laval, QC. World and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan had to settle for second place on the first day, edging out emerging Korean skater Junhwan Cha.
Keegan Messing (CAN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Messing delivered a strong performance to the jazzy “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”, nailing a quadruple-triple toeloop combination, a triple Axel, triple loop as well as fast, well-centered spins. The relief on his face was obvious when the program ended and the crowd at Bell Place rose to give him a standing ovation. The Canadian silver medalist set a season’s best with 95.05 points.
“The program felt very comfortable out there. It started off with me watching Nam Nguyen, (CAN) put down a clean program and he got a standing ovation. It made me feel like I had more energy to go out and put out a solid performance for myself. Everything really felt it came together and I’m excited to go into the long (program),” he told the post-event press conference. “This is my third or fourth Grand Prix event and I finally broke through to the top three. I’m feeling very confident with myself, especially after the Olympic and World season last year.”
Shoma Uno (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Uno opened his program to a guitar version of “Stairway to Heaven” with a quadruple flip, but he stumbled on the back end of his quad toe-triple toe combination and fell on the triple Axel. The Olympic silver medalist scored 88.87 points. “Disappointment and regret, those are the emotions about my performance,” the Japanese champion said. “It is not about me taking a high risk, I just can’t do triples,” Uno said when asked about including two quadruple jumps in his program.
Junhwan Cha (KOR) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “Cinderella” by Sergei Prokofiev, Cha hit a quad Salchow, triple Lutz-triple loop combination and a triple Axel to pick up 88.86 points. “Today my program felt very comfortable and I really tried my best. I think it was a good performance today,” the teenager said. “Before the short program, I thought I (would) try my best and do what I did in practice. I got a really (good) result today and I’m happy with that.”
The 2017 Skate Canada bronze medalist Alexander Samarin (RUS) is not far behind in fourth on 88.06 points. Daniel Samohin (ISR) ranks fifth with 84.90 points followed by Alexander Majorov (SWE) on 84.64 points. The 2018 Four Continents bronze medalist Jason Brown (USA) fell on his triple Axel and underrotated also the triple Lutz to finish 11th (76.46 points).