Sandhu accused in bump incident

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

Figure skating isn't normally a rough, contact sport but that could be changing in this week's Canadian championships at the John Labatt Centre.

Senior men's competitor John Mattatall says two-time defending champion Emanuel Sandhu got physical with him after the pair collided during a pre-qualifying round warmup session Tuesday at the JLC.

"He walked into me," Mattatall said yesterday. "He brushed by me with his shoulder. It was more than a brush. I was standing in the exit area, I had my back to the ice and he gave me a bump. There was plenty of room for him to get around me but he didn't do that.

"I turned around to see if he had something to say to me but he just walked away."

Sandhu was unavailable for comment and his coach Joanne McLeod said she knew nothing about the situation.

The 24-year-old Sandhu is the leader heading into tomorrow's short program.

Mattatall, 22, a native of Tatamagouche, N.S., who trains in Barrie at the Mariposa school of skating, finished 14th in the qualifying group and missed advancing by two spots.

When the initial, on-ice collision was mentioned, Sandhu shrugged and said, "That happens sometimes. It's different than at worlds. Guys aren't in sync with the skating patterns. Some people run into you on purpose. It's a sport and you're looking for every edge. I don't know if that was the case this time."

Mattatall said he didn't do anything on purpose.

"I'm not that kind of guy," he said. "But ever since you start doing double Axels, you know patterns.

"It was my first time skating in a group with him but I knew his Axel pattern from the practice sessions."


Videos

Photos