PYEONCHANG, Korea, Republic Of â€” Canada’s Patrick Chan was held off the podium by a trio of big jumpers at the ISU Four Continents figure skating championships Sunday.
The three-time world champion from Toronto opened his free program with a huge quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, and followed it up with a triple Axel, but he struggled the rest of the way to finish fourth with 267.98.
“I need to work on my snap off the ice and being more efficient,” said Chan. “I’m looking forward to going back home and working on that. Those are also things that I can work on both on and off the ice.”
American teen Nathan Chen won the gold, becoming the first man to land five quadruple jumps in a single performance. He set international-best scores across the board, finishing with 307.46 points while holding off a challenge by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who was first in Sunday’s free skate.
Nam Nguyen of Toronto produced a strong free skate to jump from 13th after the short program to eighth overall. Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., was 12th.
Chen’s victory was his first in an international competition. He credited China’s Jin Boyang for pushing the younger crop of skaters to expand the envelope on four-rotation jumps.
“Boyang really started that huge quad craze when we were younger,” Chen said. “We were all struggling to get all our triples and do triple-triples and he was out there doing four quads in a long (program). I think that really motivated all of us junior skaters to start working on these quads and putting them into the programs. It’s really showing up now that we’re senior skaters.”
Chen opened his routine with a quadruple Lutz-triple toe loop combination at the Gangneung Ice Arena and followed with four more quads in a free skate that received 204.34 points. After his first jump, he added a quad flip, quad toe, quad toe-double toe and a quad Salchow.
“I tried five quads today and I landed three of the five solidly,” Chen said. “The other two were a little shaky, so that’s something I need to improve on for the worlds.”
Hanyu, third after the short program, was second overall with 303.71 points. Shoma Uno, also of Japan, was third with 288.85. Hanyu had four quadruple jumps to top the free skate with 206.67 points.
“This is my third silver medal at the Four Continents and I enjoyed this one the most,” Hanyu said. “I felt the threat posed by Nathan, but he will push me beyond my limit, no doubt about that.”
The Four Continents were a test event for next year’s Winter Olympics, and a final tuneup before the world championships next month in Helsinki.
Canada won four medals at the event. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took gold in ice dancing, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were second in pairs, while and Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch were third, and Gabrielle Daleman added a silver in women’s singles.
â€” With files from The Associated Press
The Canadian Press