Patrick Chan second after short program at Grand Prix Final

FUKUOKA, Japan – World champion Patrick Chan of Toronto stands second in men’s singles after Thursday’s short program at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan earned a world record 99.84 points to grab the lead with Chan second at 87.47 and Nobunari Oda of Japan third at 80.94.

Chan hit his opening quad toe-loop, triple toe-loop combination but touched the ice landing his triple Axel and doubled a planned triple Lutz to finish with 87.47.  The 22-year-old won gold at his two Grand Prix events this season.

‘’I’m a little upset about today,’’ said Chan. ‘’It’s a little unfortunate to not skate the way you wanted.  I have to remember to take one step at a time as I did earlier this season and produce an equal effort throughout the program.’’

After landing the quad-triple combo with remarkable ease, Chan ran into difficulties on two essential jumps.

‘’I felt really good after the quad-triple but I went into the Axel slower than normal,’’ said Chan.  ‘’The Lutz was the weirdest thing.  I saw the overhead camera and that might have been a bit of a distraction.  That was unusual and it’s something you learn along the way.’’

Hanyu opened with a quad toe-loop and hit all his other jumps to the delight of a sellout crowd at Marine Messe. His 99.84 points surpassed the previous high of 98.52 by Chan at the Trophee Bompard in Paris last month.

The men’s free skate is on Friday.

Canada’s four other entries are also in action Friday for their short programs.  They are Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., as well as Kirsten Moore-Towers of St.Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto in pairs.  The ice dance entries are Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., along with Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont.

The Grand Prix Final is the reserved for the top-six finishers overall in each event following the six-stops on the circuit this season.

Louis Daignault

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