Chan did everything 'to perfection,' ex-champ says

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:59 PM ET

VICTORIA — Patrick Chan’s scores from the Canadian figure skating championships on Sunday were not considered world records because they were recorded at a domestic competition.

But to Skate Canada officials on hand for his historic freeskate, where he scored freeskate marks of 197.07 and an overall score of 285.85, believe that his skate WAS the best ever, no matter how you dissect it.

‘A lot of chatter’

“There’s always a lot of chatter worldwide when results come out of a national championships that the marks are inflated and it’s home-field advantage,” said Skate Canada high performance director Mike Slipchuk. “But honestly, I don’t know how you can look at that performance and say, ‘Well, that was not marked correctly.’ If I was a skater from another country I would give it all the praise.”

Skating to the Phantom of the Opera, Chan captivated the crowd at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre with a free skate that included two quadruple toe loop jumps, one in combination with a triple toe, a triple Axel as well as some exceptional spins and foot sequences. Combine that with his tremendous artistic flair, and the 20-year-old Chan has clearly established himself as the gold medal favorite for the world championships this March in Tokyo.

The world record for the men’s singles freeskate and overall score is held by Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi, who recorded points of 175.84 for the free and 264.41 at the 2008 Four Continents Championships.

If Sunday’s freeskate at the Canadian championships was an international event, Chan would be the new world record holder.

Given the reach and depth of his programs now — Chan didn’t do a quad until this year and now does two in his free — it appears that Chan has also established himself as the gold medal favorite for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Chan said on Sunday that he wants to break the 300-point barrier.

“The thing about a skater like Patrick, he’s still growing and still learning and still getting better,” said Slipchuk. “I guess it’s one of these situations that it’s sure good that we’re going to be able to see where he can move this sport and where he can go.”

Interestingly, Slipchuk said Chan likely would have scored even higher on Sunday if the ISU had not tweaked its scoring system the last couple of years.

“You’re looking at the potential of maybe 8-10 points that used to be out there, that aren’t there now,” he said. “I think it really puts in respective of what he did.

“I’ve never seen a skate like that, and I’ve seen a lot of the best compete,” added Slipchuk, the 1992 Canadian men’s singles champion. “You’re kind of spellbound. And the fact that it wasn’t just two quads, it was everything. Every element was done to perfection. That rink was silent as he skated. It’s kind of scary when he finishes and we all look at each other, being involved in this sport forever, and having no idea what the score’s going to be because we’ve not really seen that before.”

Dancers to compete

Slipchuk and Skate Canada CEO William Thompson confirmed that Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who did not compete at this year’s nationals as a result of her leg surgery in October, will compete at the world championships in Tokyo in March and the Four Continents Championships next month in Taipei, Taiwan. Chan will compete at the worlds, but not the Four Continents.


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