Chan has tough act to follow in men's free skate

2/14/2014 5:03:22 AM
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Patrick Chan will know exactly where he stands when he takes to the ice for the men's free skate Friday evening at the Iceberg Skating Palace, although he may want to block out the crowd reaction.

That's because the Toronto native will once again follow Japanese dynamo Yuzuru Hanyu, who leads after the short program in Sochi.

The 23-year-old Canadian will skate fourth, immediately follow Hanyu. In the short program, Chan competed two skaters after his 19-year-old rival.

Chan will skate to The Four Seasons by Vivaldi in the hopes of making up a deficit of 3.93 points.

Javier Fernandez of Spain, currently sitting in third place, will be the first skater to hit the ice in the final group of six.

Like Hanyu, Fernandez is coached by Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medallist.

Fernandez is followed by Daisuke Takahashi. The former world champion and 2010 Olympic bronze medallist from Japan is in fourth place.

The random draw in the Olympic setup has resulted in the regrettable result that the fifth- and sixth-place skaters end the show.

Those competitors are Peter Liebers of Germany and Jason Brown of the United States. While they have a chance at reaching the podium, it's highly unlikely they could make up enough ground to win the competition.

Many figure skating observers believed veteran Brian Joubert should have been in the final grouping on the basis of a strong short program, but the Frenchman will instead be near the beginning of the penultimate group.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C. will be up 12th in the free skate, which gets underway at 10 a.m. ET.

Reynolds gamely persevered after hitting the deck twice in the short, leading to a 17th-place showing.




Patrick Chan (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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