Patrick Chan wins gold, set world records at ISU Grand Prix

PARIS – World champion Patrick Chan capped a super weekend for Canadian figure skaters on Saturday with a gold medal and world record performances in men’s singles at the Eric-Bompard Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir added ice dance gold and Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., took silver in pairs.

Chan totalled 295.27 points to smash his previous world mark of 280.98 points set at the 2011 world championships in Moscow. He also bettered his free program world record score from Moscow to 196.75 from the 187.96. Friday’s short program total was also a world’s best.

‘’This is a special day,’’ said Chan. ‘’It’s the first time in a long time I`ve skated two strong programs at one competition. I felt in control of every moment and each element. I`m going to remember how I approached both programs.

The 22-year-old from Toronto nailed his opening quad toeloop-triple toeloop, his quad toeloop and his triple axel jumps. The French crowd gave him a rousing ovation for his performance which included music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

‘’I know exactly why the way I skated. I paced myself properly to get through the whole program and through all the elements. That’s where I improved.’’

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was second at 263.59 and Jason Brown of the U.S., third at 243.09.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir were the victors with 180.96 ranking first in both the short dance and free dance. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia were second at 171.89 and Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France third at 171.08.

‘’We felt like it was a strong skate,’’ said Moir. ‘’There were some great moments and it was a better skate than at Skate Canada especially the ending.  Still we left some points out there. Technically we can’t afford to do those little mistakes.’’

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

In pairs, Olympic silver medallists Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China won the gold with 193.86 points edging Duhamel and Radford in second at 190.89. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin of the U.S., were third at 184.01.

The result also puts Duhamel and Radford in good position to make the Grand Prix Final.

“I was proud of that performance,” said Radford. “There’s a lot of pressure. It’s an Olympic season and we wanted to make the Grand Prix Final to keep our name out there heading into the second half of the season. That’s what was on the line today.”

After a wobbly Skate Canada three weeks ago, Duhamel said the couple put pressure on themselves to execute clean programs every day in training. The preparation eventually paid off even though they didn’t produced a clean skate Saturday.

“We weren’t able to deliver the program that we’ve been doing in training but we fought,” said Duhamel. “We knew we needed to come here and get at least second to advance to the Grand Prix Final. There was a lot of pressure and nothing was easy..”

Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Mervin Tran of Regina were sixth.

In women’s competition, Amélie Lacoste of Delson, Que., was sixth.

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