Chan wins silver medal at Grand Prix Final

FUKUOKA, Japan – World champion Patrick Chan of Toronto won the silver medal on Friday in men’s singles at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan took the gold with 293.25 points, Chan followed at 280.08 and Nobunari Oda of Japan was third at 255.96.

“I faced a good challenge today trying to come back from a disappointing short program,” said Chan. “Even though I didn’t win the competition I felt like I accomplished a lot and gained a valuable experience. It was a great long program.”

Despite heading into the competition with two wins on the Grand Prix circuit this season including a world record score last month in Paris, Chan said he felt some doubts for Friday’s long program.

“I don’t have the best track record in Japan,” he said. “Every time I come back here I re- live the moments I didn’t skate my best. So to come in a do a strong long today and get back to what I did in Paris and Skate Canada is really going to help me.”

Canada is in contention for more medals in ice dancing and pairs.

In ice dancing, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., are second after the short dance only 0.7 points behind world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The Americans earned 77.66 and Virtue and Moir 77.59.

“Overall it was strong,” said Virtue. “Technically we got all the points we wanted which was our objective. We just have to go out and perform the same way in the free dance.”

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia stand third at 68.90 just ahead of Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., at 67.68.

“We captured the essence of the program,” said Poje. “We didn’t lose that uniqueness. We wanted to utilize the taps and the back and forth between the two of us.”

In pairs, Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., totalled 73.07 and are fourth less than three points behind third spot. Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are sixth.

“This is the type of skate we’ve been waiting for,” said Radford. “After some rough short programs this season, this one gives us a lot of confidence.”

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch also came off the ice satisfied.

“We can’t do much better than a clean short,” said Moore-Towers. “The best part was our energy. We felt comfortable and at home out there. It was fun and when we get to feel it that way, it’s enjoyable.”

The top-three are Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia in first, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany in second and Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China in third.

The free dance and pairs free skate are on Saturday.

The final competitive event for Chan before the Olympic Winter Games will be the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. That event takes place at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, January 9-12, 2014.

Louis Daignault

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