Chan and Duhamel/Radford in medal hunt at ISU Grand Prix Final

MARSEILLES, France –  Canadians Patrick Chan and pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are in position to chase a gold medal after Thursday’s short programs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

In the men’s short, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan holds the lead with 106.53 points followed by Chan with a personal best 99.76 and world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain third at 91.76.

‘’It’s the best I’ve skated this season in competition,’’ said Chan, a three-time world champion, who executed a clean skate featuring a quad-triple combo and triple Axel. ‘’It’s a good feeling to have again and super to do that against all the top men here. I feel I’m progressing through the season properly.’’

In pairs, Evegenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia are in first place with 78.60. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China are second at 75.34 while Duhamel and Radford are third at 71.44.

The Canadian two-time world champs had a fall on their throw and Duhamel touched her hand down on the side-by-side jumps.

‘’The throw Axel has been right there in practice,’’ said Radford. ‘’It’s just unfortunate that it went very haywire in the program. We haven’t done one like that in awhile.’’

‘’It’s actually our most consistent throw,’’ added Duhamel. ‘’We land it way more than the other throws in practice. So we are a bit shell-shocked and disappointed. In the end we need to do clean short programs.’’

Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., are sixth at 60.86.

‘’Even though we missed some technical elements we really enjoyed the program,’’ said Séguin. ‘’We really have to trust ourselves for the free program and I think we will do well.’’

The pairs free skate is on Friday along with the women’s short program and short dance. The men’s free skate is on Saturday.

Full results: ISU Grand Prix Final

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