Big scores for Chan, Virtue/Moir at ISU Grand Prix

PARIS – World champion Patrick Chan of Toronto broke his world record score in Friday’s short program to stand first in men’s competition at the Trophee Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

Later on, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., posted a personal best score for their short dance to grab an early lead as well.

Chan totalled 98.52 points which bettered his previous world best of 98.37 set at the world championships last March. He also improved his score by more than 10 points from last month’s Skate Canada.  The main difference was successfully landing his quad-triple toe jump on Friday.

“I wasn’t feeling completely at my best but I put in the work and the training,” said Chan. “When you do that it allows you to deliver a solid performance like this.  I didn’t expect that kind of score this early in the season but it doesn”t change my mentality or my approach for the rest of the year.”

Yazuru Hanyu of Japan is second at 95.37 and Jason Brown of the U.S., third at 84.77.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir earned 75.31 to eclipse their previous best of 75.12 set the Four Continents Championships last season.  Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France are second at 70.59 and Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are third at 69.07.

At Skate Canada, Virtue and Moir had difficulty with their twizzles and have revamped the short program over the past three weeks in training.

“We moved the twizzles to earlier in the program,” said Virtue.  “It was a bit risky to put it at the end.  Overall the layout of the program is a whole lot better and we have a lot more speed at the end of the program.”

Moir said the changes were beneficial.

“It puts more pressure when you change things around but it has taken us one step higher,” he said.  “It’s normal to tinker with it especially in preparation for the Olympics.  The short program is all about execution and it’s those four required elements that we worry about the most.”

Nicole Orford of Burnaby, B.C.,  and Thomas Williams of Okotoks, Alta., are eighth.

In pairs, Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China lead with 67.69 points.  World championship bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., stand second at 66.07 and Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov of Russia are third at 65.67.

Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Mervin Tran of Regina are sixth at 55.89.

Amélie Lacoste of Delson, Que., is seventh after the women’s short program.

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