World and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan fought back in the Free Skating to take gold as Skate Canada International continued Saturday in Laval, QC. Canada’s Keegan Messing earned the silver medal and Junhwan Cha of Korea claimed the bronze. Messing and Cha got their first medals on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. It was also the first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal for a Korean male skater.
Shoma Uno (JPN) ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Uno’s performance to “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven was highlighted by three clean quadruple jumps – a flip and two toeloops. A fourth quad, the Salchow, was underrotated. Uno also pulled off two triple Axels but fell on a triple flip and on a triple toeloop.
The Japanese champion scored 188.38 points for a total of 277.25 to move up from second place. “I was able to put in all the frustration from yesterday and I was able to perform the program,” Uno said. “I thought I’ll go all out from the beginning, so I went at 100 percent from the start. That’s probably why I did get a bit tired at the end. I made mistakes on the last two jumps, so this is something I’ll take as a task for the next competition.”
Keegan Messing (CAN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Overnight leader Messing tripled his planned quad Lutz but then went on to hit a quad toe and five triples including two Axels as well as excellent spins in his Charlie Chaplin routine. He only fell on the second (underrotated) quad toe. The Canadian silver medalist earned 170.12 points and slipped to second on 265.17 overall.
“I was very excited to win the short program yesterday and I came into the long program very excited to put on a performance for the home crowd once again,” Messing said. “I’m a little bummed I didn’t rotate my quad Lutz, but I took every element once at a time and the crowd was right behind me, helping me through the whole program. I wasn’t really nervous after having a bad warm-up, because I know that I can go out at any time and nail jumps that I want to do.”
Junhwan Cha (KOR) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating to the “Romeo and Juliet” soundtrack by Craig Armstrong, Cha missed his opening quad toe but pulled himself together to produce a quadruple Salchow, a triple Lutz-triple loop as well as two triple Axels and two more clean triples. The 17-year-old picked up 165.91 points for a total of 254.77.
“Today my performance was a little harder than yesterday, but I tried my best and worked hard until the finish. I had a mistake on the first jump, but kept going and I’m very satisfied,” the ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist told the media. “After I was in third after the short program, to prepare for today’s program I told myself to forget about yesterday and fully focus on today’s program.”
The 2017 Skate Canada bronze medalist Alexander Samarin (RUS) this time came fourth on 248.78 points. Nam Nguyen (CAN) moved up two spots to fifth (240.94 points) and Jason Brown (USA) pulled up from 11th to sixth (234.97 points).