Figure Skating

Reynolds makes history, Chan stumbles at Skate Canada

The Canadian Press
10/29/2010 9:50:32 PM
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KINGSTON, Ont. -- Patrick Chan had chosen this season to debut his quad jump away from the glaring spotlight that follows Olympians and in a post-Olympic campaign when failure doesn't come at such a stiff cost.

Yet, he couldn't help but feel the sting as he picked himself off the ice Friday after failing in his first attempt at the venerable four-revolution jump in competition.

As debuts go, Chan's was far from the one he was hoping for. The 19-year-old from Toronto fizzled after his botched quad toe loop attempt to fall twice more in a shaky short program at Skate Canada International and wind up fourth.

"I have no idea what happened, I think it was just a combination of everything, but I think right away when I missed the quad, even in practice I start doubting myself," said Chan "The quad's a big jump and it's really important to me. It's just a lack of experience and now I understand how the other guys feel who do it in their program, but it's part of the learning process and I've got to work my way up."

As costly as the quad jump was to Chan, the big jump was a huge boost to Canadian teammate Kevin Reynolds. The 20-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., became the first man in history to execute two quads in a short program and sits second heading into Saturday's long program.

Reynolds took advantage of a new International Skating Union rule implemented this season -- it allows skaters to have two quads in the short program -- to pen his name in the history books. Reynolds landed a quad Salchow in a combination and a quad toe loop to score 80.09 points.

"I was absolutely thrilled when I landed that second quadruple jump. . . I had so many emotions running through my head, I was so happy," said Reynolds.

Nobunari Oda of Japan skated a flawless performance, but without a quad, to finish first with 81.37 points, while Adam Rippon of the U.S., was third with 77.53.

Cynthia Phaneuf of Brossard, Que., won the women's short program.

Chan fell on his quad toe loop attempt to open the program and his focus wavered from that point on at the K-Rock Centre. The two-time world silver medallist fell on a triple Axel and again on his step sequence to score 73.20. The three falls cost Chan more than 12 points.

The fall on the footwork, normally one of the strongest points of his program, was a shock, and he had harsh words for himself afterward.

"You're an idiot. You're really dumb," Chan said, when asked what was going through his head. "That's a real rookie mistake and it's really stupid to do that, I just didn't concentrate through the program."

Chan has been outspoken in his defence of competing without a quad and won his two world medals without one. But, partly because of new rules this season that make attempting the quad less risky and because he's become adept at the jump -- in practice, at least -- he added it to his repertoire this season.

Where Chan has always earned top international marks for his spins and his artistry, Reynolds is a mechanically sound skater who is traditionally weaker when it comes to the presentation of his programs.

The new rules definitely favour Reynolds, who attempted his first quad in competition at the age of 15.

"To be able to do the two quads here, it was a great opportunity for me and the rest of the season I can improve on my presentation side as well, and improve the basic skating," Reynolds said.

Rippon was sporting a red welt the size of a quarter on his cheek and an ice pack on his shoulder after a spectacular crash with Chan in the morning practice. Chan was skating backward doing footwork and turned just in time to see Rippon but too late to avoid a collision, completely upending the American.

"That was definitely the most exciting collision, maybe not the most dangerous," said Rippon.

Rippon heard the gasp from the crowd and wondered for a split second what the commotion was about before he felt the impact.

"I was thinking 'Oh boy, I can't wait to see what happened.' Two seconds later, smacked down on the ice and I had no idea what happened," Rippon said. "I hit my face a little bit and my shoulder, but I'm fine and I think it knocked some of the nerves out of me. It definitely didn't affect my performance today. And I think I look kind of cool with it too."

Phaneuf, the top-ranked Canadian woman here in the absence of Olympic bronze medallist Joannie Rochette, scored 58.24 points to win the short program, and said she's perfectly comfortable carrying Canada's flag for the women.

"My job is the same (with or without Rochette), but for sure it's a pleasure for me to be the first Canadian and be proud to go out there and know I'm the top lady," Phaneuf said. "For me it's an honour to have that title and just do my job knowing I'm the one that has to lead."

Rochette, who skated her way onto the podium at the Vancouver Olympics days after her mother's death, is skipping the Grand Prix season as she contemplates her competitive future.

Ksenia Makarova of Russia was second in the short program in the 11-skater field with 57.90 points while American Agnes Zawadzki was third with 56.29.

The 22-year-old Phaneuf, who skated a clean program Friday that included two triple jumps, rocketed to the top of the Canadian champion podium at the age of 15, upsetting six-time champion Jennifer Robinson, and went on to win Skate Canada and finish second at Skate America.

But stress fractures to her ankle and hip kept her off skates for nearly a year, and a growth spurt saw her grow four inches. She struggled in her new, larger body, having to learn to jump and spin all over again.

She's finally feeling comfortable in her skin, finishing fifth at the 2010 world championships, 10 spots better than her previous best world finish.

"Everything is easier," explained her coach Annie Barabe. "Two years ago everything was hard for her, coming back from where she was. Now we never talk about before, we talk ahead. Two years ago, we were like, 'OK, before I could do this, before I could do that.' Before is over. Now it's the future."

New Canadian duo Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., were fourth, losing key points when Duhamel doubled a planned triple Lutz.

Siblings Sinead and John Kerr of Great Britain won the ice dance short program with 62.96 points, edging Vanessa Crone of Newmarket, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., who were second with 62.95. Pernelle Carron and Lloyd Jones of France were third with 54.43.

Skate Canada is the second of six stops on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

Kevin Reynolds (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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