Japan leads World Team Trophy figure skating; Canada fourth

Associated Press

4/19/2012 11:46:35 AM

TOKYO -- Patrick Chan saw one world record fall and the Canadian figure skating team finish fourth on the opening day of the World Team Trophy on Thursday.

The 21-year-old from Toronto landed his quad jump but fell on his triple Axel to finish second behind Daisuke Takahashi of Japan in the short program. Takahashi scored 94.00 to better Chan's world record of 93.02, one of three scoring records the Canadian set at the world championships last year in Moscow.

"I was very happy with the quad, it was the best all season," Chan said. "There is always one event where I have trouble with the triple Axel and it was today."

Chan, who captured his second world title last month in Nice, France, finished with 89.91 points, while Jeremy Abbott of the U.S. was third. Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., was sixth.

"I felt very comfortable," Chan said. "The program itself was really easy and I was able to be really comfortable and push the envelope without getting worried and uptight about it. I could really grab the attention of the judges and see them react to it, and that's the first I've seen that this whole season."

Canada's defending world ice dance champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, also finished second in the short dance, losing to American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The Americans scored 72.81 points. Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., had 69.93 points. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France were third with 66.57 points.

"We try to use every competition as a stepping stone to improve," White said. "We felt we skated well at the worlds but obviously second wasn't the result we wanted so it's nice to have another chance to come out and prove ourselves."

Japan and the United States are tied with 45 points but the host nation placed first by virtue of its higher finishes in the individual disciplines.

France is third with 35 points, while Canada has 33.

Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., was 10th in the women's short program, while Cynthia Phaneuf was 12th. Carolina Kostner of Italy is the leader, following by Akiko Suzuki and Japanese teammate Kanako Murakami.

Takahashi opened his routine with a quadruple jump and landed all his remaining jumps cleanly.

"The quad wasn't that good in today's practice so I was relieved to pull it off without problems," Takahashi said. "I got a huge boost from the fans today."

The United States won the inaugural World Team Trophy in 2009 in Tokyo. Figure skating's team event will make its Olympic debut in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Each team consists of two women, two men, one pair and one ice dancing couple.