Chan takes Skate Canada men's title

Patrick Chan of Canada waves to fans after performing in the men's free program at the Skate Canada...

Patrick Chan of Canada waves to fans after performing in the men's free program at the Skate Canada International figure skating competition in Kingston, October 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:48 PM ET

KINGSTON -- Patrick Chan has officially joined the quad club.

One night after tumbling on his new jump, the Toronto skater nailed the quad to open his free skate and rode that momentum to a come-from-behind victory on Saturday at Skate Canada International.

Fourth after a three-fall short program, Chan, 19, scored a personal-best 166.32 points in the long program to beat short winner Nobunari Oda of Japan by three points overall at the K-Rock Centre.

Finally, Chan said when asked about his first good quad in competition.

That's how I've been practising it, that's how I've (been doing it in training) in Colorado. I didn't do anything different, I just went in a little more focused I think. I just did what I do in practice.

Chan has been talking with excitement about the quad since adding it to his repertoire this summer.

The three-time reigning Canadian champ opted not to use the big jump until this season and still managed to win two successive silver medals at the world championships.

But with a healthy chunk of the top skaters showcasing it in competition, Chan felt the time was right to give it a shot.

The big smile on his face post-free skate showed that he is glad he gave it a go.

To get it over with and done is good to know, Chan said. Now I can go into the next competition (the Cup of Russia Nov. 19-21) knowing I've done it already in Skate Canada. I'll just try to mimic the same technique.

Between now and his trip to Russia, Chan will work on perfecting other elements of his programs.

With the crowd roaring in the immediate aftermath of his quad, Chan appeared way off-balance on his next jump, a triple axel, and fell. Because of that, he couldn't finish a scheduled triple-triple combination.

It was so loud. People have told me it's going to be really loud when you land it, said Chan, who couldn't even hear his music for a few seconds after the quad.

I didn't expect it to be that loud. It was a little overwhelming. I think just the technique, I tried a lot harder (on the triple axel) because the crowd really pumped me up. With my shoulder, I really overpowered it.

While Chan elevated his game, fellow Canadian Kevin Reynolds went in the opposite direction.

The native of North Vancouver, who finished a surprising second in the short program after nailing two quads, struggled badly in the free skate, finishing sixth out of 12 skaters to come fourth overall.

Once again, Reynolds hit two quads in the free skate. But he downgraded his two triple axel attempts to singles.

Reynolds actually learned the quad before the triple axel and he's clearly not as comfortable with the latter jump.

I was a lot more nervous than usual, just because it was the home crowd, Reynolds said. I was second going into the long program ... and I knew I could be in podium contention if I skated well. That put a little bit of extra pressure on me.

American Adam Rippon, who trains under legendary Canadian skater Brian Orser in Toronto, finished third, despite battling a nasty cold and asthma all week.

On Friday morning, Rippon and Chan collided at practice. Rippon had a bruise on his face and a bandage on his shoulder after the short program.

With all that, I was able to keep my head focused and stay the course, Rippon said. I'm proud of that. There are lots of things I can work on, but it's a solid start to the season.

Jeremy Ten of Vancouver, the other Canadian in the field, finished eighth after an unusual free skate in which he had to stop when a skate lace became undone.

PAIRS ACTION: Instead of conducting a light training session on Saturday in Waterloo, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch delivered a breakthrough performance on the international stage.

Added to Skate Canada International on Monday after two-time reigning national champs Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison pulled out because of injury, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch took full advantage of the opportunity.

The second-year tandem narrowly missed a gold medal after winning the free program, vaulting the Canucks to second from fifth after Friday's disappointing short program.

We were a little disappointed (with the short program). For us to come in (Saturday) as last-minute entries and do the performance we did, I think that's really something to be proud of, the 4-foot-11 Moore-Towers, 18, said.

Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze of Russia won the gold with 171.40 points, edging Moore-Towers and Moscovitch (170.92 points).

Fellow Canadians Paige Lawrence of Kipling, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Virden, Man., finished third in an eight-team field that was very short on international experience.

Fifth at the national championships in January and sixth at last year's Skate Canada, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch were prepping for Skate America Nov. 12-14 when they got the last-minute invite to Skate Canada.

We were relieved to be honest because we were ready for Skate America too early, Moscovitch, 26, said.

We would have been OK, but it would have been hard to maintain that level for three weeks.

The only big mistake in a personal-best free program, skated to selections from Les Miserables, was a fall by the pint-sized Moore-Towers on a triple salchow.

The team performed two outstanding lifts, one which saw Moscovitch hold his partner in different positions for a good 12 to 14 seconds.

We definitely see the potential where we could go, Moscovitch said. It shows us we belong on the international stage. It's very motivating for us.


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