Enough already?

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

CALGARY -- See ya, Sandhu?

Was the very beginning of the World Figure Skating Championships the end of Emanuel Sandhu's sorry story?

Speculation after Sandhu performed another pathetic program to effectively eliminate himself from contention by 9:30 a.m. on opening day, is that coach Joanne McLeod is ready to tell her skater enough is enough after making another mess on the world stage.

Earlier this year at the Canadians in Ottawa when talking about the future superstar in her stable, Mira Leung, McLeod said there are different kinds of skaters. There are ones who come to compete and there are ones who like to dress in costumes and go out and fancy skate. There was an obvious comparison there. And after what happened here yesterday, there was speculation she's about to tell the fancy skater to make way for some other skaters who want to compete for Canada

"If he asked me I would give him an opinion," McLeod told reporters after Sandhu soiled the sheets again.

The Vancouver-based skater, who came here after a 13th-place finish at the Torino Olympics, effectively put himself in the same position after finishing sixth in one grouping of the men's qualifying.

A FLOP

Falling on a quad Salchow, popping an Axel, over-rotating a quad toe loop and downgrading a triple flip to a double flip, Sandhu was a flop as he was the first skater on the ice in the first event of these Worlds. How bad was he? His personal best in the free skate is 152 points. In this one he scored 115.

Ninth at the Worlds five years ago in Vancouver, he was eighth in Dortmund two years ago and seventh in Moscow last year.

Most who follow the sport and have dealt with the former skater and coach out of Edmonton's Royal Glenora Club know the history and what she's gone through with Sandhu. Most figured she'd had enough after what happened two years ago in Dortmund.

The word gutless was used by more than one Canadian sportswriter that day when there was absolutely no try in the guy.

As was the case yesterday, he pooped the quad. One rotation. He didn't even go for the triple on the back end of the scheduled combination in that short program. He fell on the triple Axel.

"I've tended to hang in there with the guy because he doesn't have a big support system and I think support systems are very big in life," McLeod told reporters after his skate here yesterday.

Sandhu has long been identified as a coach's worst nightmare. And yet he's only had one coach. McLeod has stayed with the most flighty, mercurial, seemingly unstable skater of them all.

"There was a period of time after the Salt Lake Olympics when I told him there had to be a new coach and new location. Words were exchanged. Deep conversation was exchanged. I told him we were in a coffin and about to be buried into the ground," McLeod explained to me back then. "I should say a happy ending would be the world title. On his good day he's a world champion, no problem. Who knows if we'll get to that day? He has to want it. It can't be me wanting it more than him. I don't know if we'll get to that day."

It was quite clear here yesterday that they won't. It's been quite clear for quite a while.

Battling with his own identity problems as a person, much less in terms of sexuality and skating, Sandhu has been been a study.

To understand the relationship, you have to go back to the beginning. It was McLeod who found him.

"One day I went to a CanSkate program and saw this little kid with dark skin and a blue skate on who could hardly stand up but when he tried a two foot spin he did it like you see in ballet. He was seven years old. I was blown away with that," she told me once.

PERSONAL

Then it got personal.

"I remember one day when he was maybe nine years old and he didn't have a ride and it was obvious his ride was never coming. I remember when I was a skater and I wanted a coach who was there for me as a person and as an athlete and I didn't have that ..."

Everything kept going back to that day. But at the end of the day here yesterday, enough had to be enough.


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