Canada’s Conrad Orzel takes fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix

LINZ, Austria – A quirky fall after landing a quad jump disoriented Canada’s Conrad Orzel as he tumbled from first to fourth in men’s competition Friday at the second stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Camden Pulkinen of the U.S. won the gold with 223.95 points, Koshiro Shamada of Japan was second at 220.45 and Roman Savosin of Russia third at 211.10.

The 18-year-old Orzel from Woodbridge, Ont., was first after Thursday’s short program with a personal best. He produced the sixth best free skate to fall out of medal contention with 200.46.

Skating to the 1968 Romeo and Juliet soundtrack, he hung on to his opening quadruple Salchow then slipped and fell after landing the quad toe.

‘’My long program was quite disappointing,’’ admitted Orzel, 13th at the world juniors last season. ‘’I was really zoned in after the warm-up. But the slip up on the quad toe really threw me off. After that my skating just went down and I got more panicky.’’

Still with his success in the short program, Orzel knows he can’t dwell on Friday’s performance.

‘’In the short program I showed that I can pay more attention to detail and be calm,’’ he said. ‘’The skating skills were there and I could feel my edges a lot easier. There are tweaks needed to the long but mainly it needs more run-throughs every day.’’

Beresford Clements of Richmond, B.C., was 12th out of 21 entries in his junior Grand Prix debut.

‘’It was a great experience to compete on such a bigger stage,’’ said the 16-year-old. ‘’I know going forward I’ll have to be more aggressive and confident and put it all on the ice.’’

Canada is also in medal contention in ice dancing. Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., fourth at the world juniors last season, are second after the short dance with 63.95.

Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko of Russia hold a slight lead at 64.26. Eva Kuts and Dmitrii Mikhailov of Russia are third at 58.63. Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell of Toronto are fifth at 50.45.

In pairs after the short program, Gabrielle Levesque of Bridgewater, N.S. and Pier-Alexandre Hudon of St-Roch-des-Aulnaies, Que., stand ninth less than five points from fifth spot.

In women’s competition after the short Emma Bulawka of Kelowna, B.C. is 11th.

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates in pairs, women’s and ice dancing.

Full results: ISU JGP Cup of Austria 2018

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