ESPOO, Finland – Canada’s Keegan Messing placed fourth in men’s competition on Friday at the 2021 Finlandia Trophy, the fourth stop on the ISU Challenger Series figure skating circuit.
Jason Brown of the U.S. took the gold medal despite the fifth best free skate with 262.52 points. Two Russians were next: Mikhail Kolyada won the silver with 256.98 and Dmitri Aliev was third with 249.25.
After placing first in Thursday’s short program, Messing produced the seventh best free skate of the day to fall out of the medals with 242.58. The 29-year-old based in Anchorage, Alaska, had a great start to his program landing his opening quad toe, triple Lutz and first combo.
But he lost momentum with an unfortunate fall in between elements and another tumble at the end of his triple Lutz-triple toe combo.
‘’This event had its high and lows but it’s a great steppingstone for the rest of the season,’’ said Messing, sixth at the world championships this past March. ‘’It’s great motivation to remember who’s out there and face everything head-on.’’
In pairs, Russian skaters were 1-2 with world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov winning the gold with 227.13 points and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov second at 213.72. Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the U.S. were third at 193.00.
For the Canadians, first-season partners Vanessa James and Eric Radford were fifth at 190.58 after placing third in the short program on Thursday. That was more than six points better than their score in a second-place finish at the Autumn Classic International last month in Pierrefonds, Que.
‘’Some great steps in terms of growth which will helps us for the rest of the season,’’ said Radford, from Balmertown, Ont. ‘’Still this was a disappointment because we’ve been skating better than that in practice. But we are on the right path and that’s the most important thing.’’
This past April, Radford, a two-time world champion and three-time Olympic medallist, announced he was coming out of retirement to skate for Canada once again, but this time with James, a European champion and world championship medallist who formerly competed for France.
‘’We plan to show what we are capable of in the upcoming Grand Prix series,’’ said James, born in Scarborough. ‘’There were little things and missteps in both programs this week, but we are feeling more and more comfortable with each other.’’
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro remained eighth with 184.37.
Moore-Towers and Marinaro, sixth at the world championships in March, say they’ll benefit from a full season of events this season.
‘’It was nowhere where we wanted in either program,’’ said Marinaro, 29, from Sarnia, Ont. ‘’But we have some key things to learn from and work on from home.’’
‘’We just need to compete more,’’ added Moore-Towers, 29, from St. Catharines, Ont. ‘’We’re excited to have a full season of competitions in which we can learn and take the good and bad from each competition to grow and better ourselves so we can be ready for the second half when we hope to peak.’’
The rhythm dance and women’s short program are on Saturday with the free skates for both events on Sunday.
Full results: http://www.figureskatingresults.fi/results/2122/CSFIN2021/index.htm