Determined Mallet shines in international debut

OBERTSDORF, Germany – Persistency has paid off for 19-year-old Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., as she placed fourth in women’s singles in in her international debut Friday at the Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition.

Elena Radionova of Russia won the gold medal with 188.21 points, Miki Ando of Japan was second at 162.86 and Ashley Cain of the U.S. third at 162.39.  Less than three points back from Cain was Mallet at 159.67.

‘’I`m very satisfied,’’ sad Mallet.  ‘’I didn’t come here with expectations because I had never competed against such a field.’’

Mallet needed to improve her triple Lutz and triple toe flip over the summer to gain an international assignment.

‘’This is the first year I have those two jumps in my program,’’ said Mallet.  ‘’I trained really hard to achieve those jumps, and now I understand them and can do them.’’

In pairs, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia finished ahead of three German couples to win the gold medal.

Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Mervin Tran of Regina were sixth in their first competition together.  Tran,  born in the Saskatchewan capital, won a world championship bronze medal for Japan in 2012 with former partner Narumi Takahashi.

‘’We really came out here with a blank canvas and really wanted to show we can compete at the senior level,’’ said Tran.  ‘’Our big challenge this year is to show the unison that experience teams develop after many years.  We had a good start and really went for it today.’’

In Friday’s men’s short program, Jeremy Ten of Vancouver posted the third best score at 76.49.  Nobunari Oda of Japan leads at 87.34 and Jason Brown of the U.S. is second at 79.41.

In Thursday’s short dance, Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., topped the field with a personal best 59.06.

The free dance and men’s final are on Saturday.

Louis Daignault

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