(January 27, 2006)
It was a successful day for Canadian pair teams at the 2006 ISU Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs.
Canadian teams took home two of the three medals from the event, with silver going to Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sébastien Fecteau and bronze to Elizabeth Putnam and Sean Wirtz.
Wakamatsu and Fecteau, who were second after the short program, held on to their second-place standing after a good free program. Despite struggling with the side-by-side jumps, Wakamatsu and Fecteau’s program featured a strong throw triple Salchow, a double twist and interesting and difficult lifts that showed off Wakamatsu’s flexibility.
The duo earned 53.18 points for technical elements and 49.95 points for program components for a total of 103.13 points for the free skate. Their combined score for the event was 156.93.
This was Wakamatsu and Fecteau’s first medal at a senior championship event.
“For us, medalling at Four Continents means a lot because it was one of the goals that we had set at the beginning of the season,” said Fecteau.
Putnam and Wirtz delivered a strong performance that moved them up to third after placing sixth in the short program.
Skating to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Putnam and Wirtz completed a double twist, a side-by-side triple Salchow-double toe loop sequence and side-by-side double Lutzes. Their program also featured a throw triple loop and a throw triple Salchow, as well as good lifts and spins.
Putnam and Wirtz earned 53.16 points for technical elements and 47.29 points for program components, bringing their free program total to 100.45. Their overall score was 149.56.
“It’s our first medal in a major competition, so that’s a big thrill for us,” said Wirtz. “It was our last competition of the year, and it was nice to end on a good note.”
“We always expect a lot from ourselves, so coming off a disappointing nationals, we just felt that this one (competition) was definitely for us,” added Putnam. “It wasn’t for a placement or anything, we just had a personal goal to come out and just enjoy it and go for everything and not hold back. We’re happy with both our short and long programs here.”
Americans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin won the gold medal with an overall score of 168.89.
Canadians Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay were fourth in the short program and sixth in the free skate to finish sixth overall with a total score of 143.22. This was the duo’s first time competing at an ISU Four Continents Championships.
The 2006 ISU Four Continents Championships continues today with the ice dance and men’s finals.