Home skaters captured three of the four titles on offer at this weekend’s Skate Canada International in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Shoma Uno dominated the men’s event from start to finish. The 2017 World silver medallist opened with an impressive short programme that included a quadruple flip, a quadruple toe loop-double toe loop combination and a triple Axel. Uno stuttered on a number of elements in the free skating, but was a runaway winner and amassed a total score of 301.10, almost 40 points more than the next best placed skater.
While Jason Brown has still not mastered the art of the quad, the other aspects of his skating compensated sufficiently to enable him to pick up a well-deserved silver. Alexander Samarin from Russia picked up his first Grand Prix medal by winning bronze. Local favourite Patrick Chan started out steadily by placing second in the short, but he came unstuck in the free with a sub-par performance that relegated him to fourth.
Five years after her only previous Skate Canada win, Kaetlyn Osmond was back on top of the podium as she posted a new personal best short score of 76.06 on her way to the ladies title. She crashed on a double Axel at the end of her free, but had enough in hand not to be troubled by the rest of the field.
Maria Sotskova bagged silver even though she dinged for a number of under rotated jumps. Ashley Wagner leaped from seventh place after the short to wind up third overall. Rising star Marin Honda had a disastrous short that saw her languishing in tenth halfway through the competition. Even with the third best free skate of the event, she could only improve to fifth overall.
It was not an auspicious start for Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in their quest for a fourth straight Skate Canada title. The two-time World champions found themselves in second after the short when Duhamel doubled a planned triple Lutz jump. They rallied in the free by laying down a clean routine which included a quad Salchow throw and successfully defended their crown.
Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot chose to perform a triple Axel throw in their short and, although it did not come off perfectly, the Germans were in pole position going into the free. However, errors on two jumping passes by Massot dropped them down to second place. Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres finished second in the free, but came third overall.
In what most assume was their last Skate Canada, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir began by notching up a world record short dance score of 82.68 in Regina. The 2010 Olympic champions were a whisker away from breaking their own personal best in the free dance as well, only missing out by 0.02 with their score of 117.18. A world record total of 199.86 secured them a seventh Skate Canada title.
The battle for silver was tightly fought between Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje from Canada and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue from the United States. The former had their noses in front after the short with the latter coming out on top in the free. The Canadians did enough overall to take silver with the Americans settling for bronze.
Ice Stars Compete In Minsk
After a hiatus last week, the ISU Challenger Series resumed with the Minsk-Arena Ice Star 2017 in Belarus.
Sergei Voronov turned back time at the ripe old age of 30 to win the men’s event with a new personal best free score of 171.35. Moris Kvitelashvili from Georgia and Daniel Samohin from Israel took silver and bronze respectively.
At the other end of the age spectrum, 17 year old Elizabet Tursynbaeva from Kazakhstan won her first Challenger Series title. Russia’s Serafima Sakhanovich finished second with So Hyun An from South Korea in third were the other medallists in the ladies competition.
Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozslovskii from Russia marked their senior international debut with an easy victory in the pairs event Minsk. Annika Hocke and Ruben Blommaert from Germany picked up their second silver of the season. Paige Conners and Evgeni Krasnopolski from Israel were third.
After withdrawing from both Lombardia Trophy and Finlandia Trophy, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte finally made their season debut in Minsk and sailed off with the ice dance title. Russian teams Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov rounded out the podium in that order.