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Patrick Chan fifth at world championships

BOSTON – Patrick Chan of Toronto struggled in his free skate Friday to finish fifth overall in men’s competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

Javier Fernandez of Spain successfully defended his world title earning a whopping 314.93 points. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, first after the short program, took the silver at 295.17 and Boyang Jin of China was third at 270.99.

Chan, who sat out all of last season, was just four points from the podium despite the eighth best long program of the night for 266.75. He was third after the short. Early in his free skate he hit the boards on a combination jump.

‘’That completely changed the momentum of the program,’’ said Chan, a three-time world champion who sat out last season. ‘’There is really nothing to be upset about. As much as we all want to win, it’s great to be here and feel that pressure.’’

In the pairs short program, reigning world champions Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., are in second place with 78.18. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China lead at 80.85. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia are third at 77.13.

“We’re very happy,” said Duhamel. “We had been getting frustrated with our short this season and we decided today enough is enough. We were determined and focused.”

Radford said he was convinced they were ready.

“We finally found that focus that we had last season,’’ he said. ‘’It’s the comfort zone that we haven’t been able to achieve most of this season.’’

There were two more strong Canadian performances. Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto are eighth at 68.17 and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., are 10th at 66.06.

‘’Our biggest goal for today was to keep that consistency with our energy and our attack,’’ said Moscovitch. ‘’It felt really nice tonight; easy and fun.’’

All three Canadian pairs produced personal best scores.

“I’m thrilled we put out such a strong performance,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’It was our personal best by a lot.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the free skates in pairs and women’s competition.

Full results: ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2016

MEET CANADA’S WORLD TEAM: PAIRS

Meagan / Eric Radford

Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford

The reigning five-time Canadian champions and defending world champions don’t rest on their laurels. With creativity, unique elements and dazzling death spirals, Meagan and Eric continue to raise the bar and arrive in Boston looking to defend the world crown they won last spring. Training in Montreal under Bruno Marcotte and Richard Gauthier, Meagan and Eric enjoyed a perfect run that began in the fall of 2014 before coming to an end with silver at the Grand Prix Final in December.

FUN FACT: Eric loves music almost as much as he loves skating. He composed Tribute in 2006 after Paul Wirtz, his coach at the time, passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Meagan and Eric skated to Tribute in their short program in 2013-14.

Meagan was a former singles skater and won the Canadian junior women’s championship in 2004.

Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch

Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch

In just their second year together, Lubov and Dylan claimed their second straight Canadian championships medal with a bronze in Halifax. Dylan’s raw power and Lubov’s jaw-dropping flexibility are catalysts for unique lifts and creative tricks that have quickly made them crowd favourites.  In the future, Dylan says he would like to study business at the University of Toronto, while Lubov has an interest in economics and law.

FUN FACT: In her own words, Lubov is “obsessed with cheese.” Dylan is an accomplished martial artist, and a certified Krav Maga instructor.

Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro

Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro

Following a frightening fall in their short program at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, Kirsten and Michael recovered in their free to finish in fourth spot. As part of the national team in 2015-16, they earned their first Grand Prix medal together with a bronze at Skate Canada International. A photo of 4’11 Moore-Towers and Boston Bruins 6’9 defenceman Zdeno Chara went viral during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

FUN FACT: Michael is often told he looks like Craig Buntin; Kirsten can recite the alphabet – in sign language.

Canadian team prepared for 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send 10 entries for a total of 16 skaters to the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Boston, MA, USA, from March 28 – April 3. Canada will have two entries per category in men’s and ladies and three entries per category in pair and ice dance.

Three-time World Champion and double Olympic silver medallist (men’s and team) Patrick Chan, 25, Toronto, Ont., is the first of two Canadian entries in men’s. Chan returns to the world championships for the first time since 2013, when he won gold. In his return to competition this season, the representative of the Granite Club won gold at Skate Canada International, placed fifth at Trophée Éric Bompard, fourth at the ISU Grand Prix Final, and won gold at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The eight time Canadian champion is coached by Kathy Johnson and trains at the Detroit Skating Club.

Nam Nguyen, 17, Toronto, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in men’s. Last season, he placed fifth at this event, and in 2014, he placed 12th. This season, Nguyen placed fifth at Skate Canada International, seventh at the Rostelecom Cup and fourth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Brian Orser and Ernest Pryhitka at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club.

Canadian Champion Alaine Chartrand, 19, Prescott, Ont., is one of two Canadian entries in the ladies category. Last year, Chartrand placed 11th at this event. This season, she placed 12th at Skate America, sixth at the Rostelecom Cup and 11th at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The representative of the Nepean Skating Club is coached by Michelle Leigh and Brian Orser.

Gabrielle Daleman, 18, Newmarket, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in ladies. Daleman placed 21st at this event in 2015 and 13th in 2014. Earlier this season, she placed fifth at Skate Canada International, sixth at Trophée Éric Bompard at won silver at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Daleman is coached by Lee Barkell and Brian Orser at the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club.

Defending World Champions and Olympic silver medallists (team) Meagan Duhamel, 30, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 31, Balmertown, Ont., lead the Canadian entries in pairs. The representatives of CPA Saint-Léonard have previously competed at this event five times, winning medals the past three years. This season, they won gold at Skate Canada International and at the NHK Trophy, and won silver at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The five-time consecutive Canadian champions are coached by Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, and Sylvie Fullum.

Lubov Ilyushechkina, 24, Moscow, Russia, and Dylan Moscovitch, 31, Toronto, Ont., are the second Canadian pair entry at the event. Last year, they placed 13th at the World Championships. Earlier this season, the representatives of the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club placed seventh at the Cup of China, fifth at the NHK Trophy and fifth at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The two time Canadian medallists are coached by Lee Barkell, Bryce Davison and Tracy Wilson.

Kirsten Moore-Towers, 23, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 24, Sarnia, Ont., are the third Canadian entry in pair. This will be their first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, Moore-Towers and Marinaro won bronze at Skate Canada International, placed seventh at the Rostelecom Cup and placed fourth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The representatives of Kitchener-Waterloo SC and Point Edward SC are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier, Sylvie Fullum, Julie Marcotte and Cynthia Lemaire at CPA Saint-Léonard.

Two-time world medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 26, Toronto, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 29, Waterloo, Ont., are the first of three Canadian entries in ice dance. This will be their eighth time competing at this event; last year, they won the bronze medal. This season, the representatives of Sault FSC and Kitchener-Waterloo SC won gold at Skate Canada International, Rostelecom Cup and the ISU Grand Prix Final, and won bronze at the ISU Four Continents Championships. Weaver and Poje also won their second consecutive Canadian title. They are coached by Angelika Krylova, Pasquale Camerlengo and Shae-Lynn Bourne in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 24, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 24, Unionville, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their fourth time competing at this event, at which they placed sixth in 2015. This season, they won bronze at Skate America, silver at Trophée Éric Bompard and placed fifth at the ISU Four Continents Championships. The representatives of Scarboro FSC also won their second consecutive Canadian silver medal. Gilles and Poirier are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs at Ice Dance Elite in Scarborough, Ont.

Canadian bronze medallists Élisabeth Paradis, 23, Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette, 24, Laval, Que., are the final Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their first time competing at this event. Earlier this season, the representatives of CPA Loretteville and CPA Les Lames D’Argent De Laval Inc. placed eighth at Skate Canada International, sixth at the ISU Four Continents Championships and won their first Canadian medal (bronze) at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will be the team leader along with Cynthia Ullmark of Canmore, Alta. Dr. Bob Brock of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Agnes Makowski, also of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Andrea Derby of Windsor, Ont., Jean Senft of West Vancouver, B.C., and Benoit Lavoie of Baie St-Paul, Que., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

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

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2016 ISU WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Patrick Chan 25 Toronto, Ont. Granite Club Kathy Johnson
Mens Nam Nguyen 17 Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club Brian Orser / Ernest Pryhitka
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 19 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh / Brian Orser
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 18 Newmarket, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Brian Orser
Pair Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 30/31 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA Saint-Léonard / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte / Sylvie Fullum
Pair Lubov Ilyushechkina / Dylan Moscovitch 24/31 Moscow, Russia / Toronto, Ont. Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club / Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Lee Barkell / Bryce Davison / Tracy Wilson
Pair Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro 23/24 St. Catharines, Ont. / Sarnia, Ont. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Point Edward SC Inc. Bruno Marcotte / Richard Gauthier / Sylvie Fullum / Julie Marcotte / Cynthia Lemaire
Ice Dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 26/29 Toronto, Ont. / Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Angelika Krylova / Pasquale Camerlengo / Shae-Lynn Bourne
Ice Dance Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier 24/24 Toronto, Ont. / Unionville, Ont. Scarboro FSC / Scarboro FSC Carol Lane / Juris Razgulajevs
Ice Dance Élisabeth Paradis / François-Xavier Ouellette 23/24 Loretteville, Que. / Laval, Que. CPA Loretteville / CPA Les Lames d’Argent de Laval Inc. Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon / Romain Haguenauer

Meet the Senior Pairs

MEAGAN DUHAMEL / ERIC RADFORD

Year in and year out, Duhamel and Radford continue to raise the bar for themselves and their sport. Showcasing signature elements, including stunning death spirals and a groundbreaking throw quad Salchow a year ago, the reigning world pair champions will go in search of their fifth consecutive Canadian title in Halifax. Radford loves music almost as much as he loves skating. He composed Tribute in 2006 after Paul Wirtz, his coach at the time, passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tribute continues to help in the fight against cancer and is available at www.cancer.ca/EricRadford, with fifty per cent of all net sales going to cancer research at the Canadian Cancer Society.
The pair also used Tribute in their short program in 2013-14.

FUN FACT: The last time Halifax played hosted to the Canadian championships, Meagan Duhamel placed sixth – in women’s singles. Months later, Meagan shifted to pair skating, and has never looked back. Meagan also claimed the 2004 Canadian junior women’s championship.

LUBOV ILYUSHECHKINA/DYLAN MOSCOVITCH

Lubov and Dylan teamed up in 2014 and their first appearance at the 2015 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships was certainly a rewarding one, as they took home silver. The combination of Lubov’s incredible flexibility and Dylan’s powerful strength means fans can often see unique lifts and creative tricks during their programs. In the future, Dylan says he would like to study business at the University of Toronto, while Lubov has an interest in economics and law.

FUN FACT: In her own words, Lubov is “obsessed with cheese.” Dylan is an accomplished martial artist, and a certified Krav Maga instructor.

JULIANNE SÉGUIN/CHARLIE BILODEAU

Anyone who remembers Charlie’s moustache from their The Grand Budapest Hotel soundtrack short program last year probably figures the ‘stache was fake. Not so – he grew it for every short program, maintaining he wanted to “stay in character”, before shaving it off for the free program. The pair turned a lot of heads last year, winning two Junior Grand Prix events, the Junior Grand Prix Final, placing second at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships and, for good measure, taking bronze at the senior level at the 2015 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

FUN FACT: Charlie claims to be able to put a balloon up his nose and pull it out his mouth; Julianne is often offered a kid’s menu at restaurants.

KIRSTEN MOORE-TOWERS / MICHAEL MARINARO

Remember that photo of 4’11” Kirsten and 6’9” Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara that went viral during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games?

Well, a lot has changed since then. Kirsten and longtime partner Dylan Moscovitch parted ways after those Games, and KMT teamed up with Michael Marinaro. The duo earned their way onto the national team for the 2015-16 campaign, and earned their first Grand Prix medal together when they took home bronze at Skate Canada International in October.

FUN FACT: Michael is often told he looks like Craig Buntin; Kirsten can recite the alphabet – in sign language.

VANESSA GRENIER / MAXIME DESCHAMPS

Keep an eye on the 2014 Canadian junior pair champions: they train alongside reigning world pair champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in suburban Montreal, under the watchful eye of coaches Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte. A team on the rise, Grenier and Deschamps were seventh at 2015 Skate Canada International and followed that up with an 8th place showing at the Cup of China.

FUN FACT: Maxime was featured in a commercial for a drugstore, performing a triple jump. Vanessa won a contest and made three montage videos to demonstrate an athlete’s lifestyle.