Mabee sticking to what he knows

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

KITCHENER -- Christopher Mabee knows if he jumps high and true enough, he'll land on the podium at the world junior figure skating championships this week.

But the 19-year-old men's skater from Tillsonburg knows he's going to get there with his dynamic footwork and arsenal of triple jumps -- not the risky quad jump that is sweeping through the junior ranks this week at the Kitchener Aud.

Some of the top contenders will be going all-in with less than perfect quads in an effort to snatch the world junior title in a closely contested men's field. Qualifying starts today.

"I know some of the guys are planning to do quads but mine isn't even close to being ready to try in a competition like this," he said. "I've added one extra jump element and it's a double Axel. To win, someone who lands a quad is going to help them but they still have to do well on all of their other elements. I'm not going to get away from what I do and try something just for the sake of trying something."

That's the kind of thinking that helped Jeffrey Buttle --Mabee's training mate at Barrie's Mariposa School of Skating -- beat quad-jumper Emanuel Sandhu at the Canadian championships in London in January. Mabee finished fifth in that men's division in front of a home-friendly crowd at the John Labatt Centre.

"Training has been very positive the last month-and-a-half," Mabee said. "Jeff knows I'm at a different level than he is right now but I push him and he pushes me."

Both will be trying to perfect quad jumps for next season, Mabee's first as a full-time senior skater after earning his way onto the Canadian men's team with that top-five finish. He made the senior national team last year as a late Skate Canada addition after finishing sixth in Edmonton in 2004.

"That was such an honour to be added and it helped so much. I came to the rink one day, my coach Lee Barkell told me I was added and I was like 'Wha--?' " he said. "But this year was great because I didn't have to worry about it. I'm on the team. I didn't get what I wanted at nationals -- a top-three finish -- but I'll take the positives of the performance over the result. London was a wonderful experience and getting on the podium her would be a great way to end the year."


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