Tag Archive for: 2014 Cup of China

Canadians in medal hunt at Cup of China

SHANGHAI – Canadians are in the medal hunt in all four events after Friday’s short programs at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the third stop on the ISU figure skating circuit.

In women’s competition, Olympian Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket stands fourth after the short with 58.49 points just behind Kanako Murakami of Japan in third at 60.44.  Russians are 1-2 with Julia Lipnitskaia first and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva second.

It is the 16-year-old Daleman’s debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit.

In men’s competition, Nam Nguyen of Toronto stands sixth after the short less than seven points from third place.  Maxim Kovtun of Russia, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and Han Yan of China are 1-2-3.

Nguyen, 16, is the reigning world junior champion and won bronze two weeks ago in his senior Grand Prix debut at Skate America.

“Overall it was a good skate,” said Nguyen, 16.  “I felt comfortable out there today having now gone through the process at a senior Grand Prix.  You definitely have to earn your levels here and I feel I can do even better in the long.”

In ice dancing, Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont.,and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., are less than six points from the podium after ranking fifth in the short dance and the pairs team of Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Andrew Wolfe of Calgary are less than a point from third in pairs at fifth spot.

All four free skates are on Saturday

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpchn2014/index.htm

Nam Nguyen edged out of medals at Grand Prix

SHANGHAI – Toronto’s Nam Nguyen took fourth spot in men’s competition on Saturday in a memorable night at the Cup of China, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit in figure skating.

Maxim Kovtun of Russia won the gold medal with 243.34 points, Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who fell five times in his free skate, took the silver at 237.55 and Richard Dornbush of the U.S., was third at 226.73.

Nguyen totalled 221.85 to climb from sixth after Friday’s short program to fourth. Nguyen opened with a brilliant quad Salchow followed by a perfect triple Axel.  He singled his follow up triple Axel in combination but came back to land it perfectly a few seconds later. He completed his skate to a series of clean triple jumps including two in combination.

‘’I was happy I was able to come back and pull it off,’’ said the 16-year-old Nam about his triple Axel combo.  ‘’For me there was no question about whether I would attempt it again in the program. It’s a jump I have a lot of confidence with.’’

The men’s competition was marred by a nasty collision between Hanyu and China’s Han Yan  in the warm-up just prior to the last flight of skaters.  Hanyu suffered scrapes to his head and face and still competed with a bandage around his head.   Han also performed his free skate and finished sixth.

For Nguyen it was another impressive performance in his first season at the senior level.  Last winter’s world junior champion already has two medal performances including a bronze at Skate America last month.

In women’s competition, Russia was 1-2 with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva winning gold and Julia Lipnitskaia the silver. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was fifth in her senior Grand Prix debut.

‘’I wasn’t nervous, I felt confident,’’ said Daleman, 16, a 2014 Olympic team member.  ‘’I knew going in it was going to be a tough competition but I felt ready.  The big thing I learned this weekend is not to second guess myself and trust even more in my training.’’

In ice dancing Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., were fifth and in pairs Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Andrew Wolfe of Calgary were sixth.

‘’It’s pretty amazing for us just be here,’’ said Purich who joined forces with Wolfe only six months ago.  ‘’We’re just happy to see our career together starting to take off.  Today we made some little mistakes and left some points on the table but we are confident we will continue to improve.’’

The next stop in the circuit is next weekend in Moscow.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpchn2014/index.htm

New pair team Natasha Purich and Drew Wolfe set to take on Cup of China

Just when you thought pair skating (alas, everywhere) was down at the heels, tattered and torn and riddled with defections, along has come a little herd of intrepid risk-takers.

Like Natasha Purich and Drew Wolfe.

They – and other new and relatively new faces – are going to make the pair event at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships a fiery contest, come January in Kingston, Ont.

The Purich and Wolfe partnership just seems right. They are buddies from Alberta, (she from Edmonton, he from Calgary), now both training in Montreal. (As luck would have it, they both were in French immersion schools.) They met each other skating sectionals in Alberta, from about the age of 10 or 11.

They have come at pair skating from oddly different directions: Wolfe has been a singles skater and for the last four or five years, an ice dancer. In Wolfe’s hand, Purich glows. At their first event, the Skate Canada Autumn Classic Intern ational, they finished third in the short program with a throw triple Lutz, a combo spin that earned a level four and an excellent death spiral, too.

That Wolfe can do a death spiral is an event in itself. Before he hitched up with Purich six months ago, he had never skated pairs. “When I was younger, I thought there’s not a chance that I’m going to put this girl over my head,” he said. “That just seems way too dangerous. “ Coach Richard Gauthier says he’s never seen a pair skater learn such skills so quickly. He shocked all of them, with what he could do in the first three days.

Okay, so what was hardest for both? Purich wants to say the twist. After all, the male not only has to throw the partner, but catch her as well. However, Wolfe says it’s that deadly death spiral. “It was a weird feeling to get used to the force that another skater would pull on you that much on an edge,” he said. The first one he did went okay. He figures that was beginner’s luck. The second one, not so much. That has changed since, however. They got a level four on their forward inside death spiral in the short program at the Autumn Classic.

As for Purich, who skated last year with former world bronze medalist Mervyn Tran (now off to skate for his third country), she has had to up her game with skating skills and edges to match the ice-dancing crafts of Wolfe.

Seemingly improving by leaps and bounds, they will further show off their wares at Cup of China, their only Grand Prix event.

Wolfe had been skating singles at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club in Toronto with Ghislain Briand – and soaking up the influences of skating in the same rink as Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez – when he thought he might like try pairs. “I’m a big tall guy,” he said. Briand and Gauthier are friends. The next thing Wolfe knew, he was in a tryout with Purich, doing some stroking and elements.

“Of course this was all new to me,” he said. Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte were welcoming and supportive.

“It seemed like they had some faith in me,” he said. ”It’s kind of unexpected, but it seems like the right fit. We both came from different sides of the sport.” And, he said, it’s been very motivating to skate in the same rink as two-time world bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

“Honestly, he’s just a natural,” Purich said of her new partner. “It’s kind of weird. I think we were doing double twists in two days.”

Because of his dance background, Wolfe said he knew how to place a partner in the right spot. Not everything went smoothly. They had their peaks and valleys. Working also with Syvie Fullum, Julie Marcotte and Cynthia Lemaire, nothing is left untouched in the school, Wolfe said. The learning environment is very positive. All of the teams push each other.

Goals for a new team? Their focus had been just to get to nationals and develop a solid base together. They hadn’t expected even the Autumn Classic. It was a big deal. Style will come with time. They want to be unique.

And it helps that Wolfe loves music. “I adore it,” he said. “Music is my favourite.” He likes to perform, to entertain. Three or four years ago, he skated to Santana and Colin James because his Alberta coach thought it would be a good fit for his style. Wolfe has always had the final say in his music choices. This time, he left it to Julie Marcotte, and made himself trust her. He planned to keep an open mind.

When Marcotte gave them a blues for their short program – “Three Hours Past Midnight” by Colin James – Wolfe just started to chuckle. “I guess I had no reason to worry,” he said. “It was pretty hilarious.” They skate the free to “The Artist” – and that’s a perfect routine for Purich. The programs are very different.

“It’s big and it’s broad and it’s also subtle,” Wolfe said of “The Artist” soundtrack. “There is a lot of variety and you can play with it and you can be powerful with it. And it’s really what Natasha does.”

So no, pair skating in Canada does not look so desolate as it did six months ago. “It makes it fun for us and the good thing is, it gets people interested,” Wolfe said. “New faces bring interest.”

Canadian skaters continue ISU Grand Prix circuit in Shanghai

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send four entries, for a total of six skaters, to the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, the Cup of China. The competition will take place at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center from November 7-9, 2014. Canada will have one entry per category in men’s, ladies, pair, and ice dance.

World Junior Champion Nam Nguyen, 16, Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in men’s. This season, Nguyen won bronze at his first senior ISU Grand Prix assignment, Skate America, and won silver at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International. Nguyen is coached by Brian Orser and Ernest Pryhitka at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club.

Gabrielle Daleman, 16, Newmarket, Ont., will represent Canada in ladies. This will be the first senior ISU Grand Prix assignment for the 2014 Olympian. Earlier this season, the representative of Richmond Hill FSC won the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International. Daleman is coached by Andrei Berezintsev and Inga Zusev and trains at the Richmond Training Centre in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Natasha Purich, 19, Sherwood Park, Alta., and Drew Wolfe, 19, Calgary, Alta., are the Canadian entry in pair. This will be the first ISU Grand Prix assignment for the newly formed team representing CPA Saint-Léonard and the Glencoe Club. Earlier this season, they placed fourth at their first international competition, the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International. They train at CPA Saint-Léonard and are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte.

Olympians Alexandra Paul, 23, Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam, 24, Barrie, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in the ice dance category. This will be their first time competing at this event. This season, the representatives of Barrie SC placed fourth at the inaugural 2014 Skate Canada Autumn Classic International. Paul and Islam train at the Detroit Skating Club with coaches Pasquale Camerlengo, Angelika Krylova, and Natalia Deller.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will be the Canadian team leader at the event, and Siobhan Karam of Ottawa, Ont., will be the Canadian team physiotherapist. Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., and Reaghan Fawcett of Aurora, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.


Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Nam Nguyen 16 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club Brian Orser / Ernest Pryhitka
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 16 Newmarket, Ont. Richmond Hill FSC Andrei Berezintsev / Inga Zusev
Pair Natasha Purich / Drew Wolfe 19/19 Sherwood Park, Alta. / Calgary, Alta. CPA Saint-Léonard / Glencoe Club Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice Dance Alexandra Paul / Mitchell Islam 23/24 Midhurst, Ont. / Barrie, Ont. Barrie SC / Barrie SC Pasquale Camerlengo / Angelika Krylova / Natalia Deller