Chan edges out Buttle for Canadian title
Patrick Chan (CO) won the Men’s event with a new record score for Canadian Nationals. The 17-year-old also became the youngest man to ever with the Canadian title. Jeffrey Buttle (NO) placed a close second, while Shawn Sawyer (QC) rose to capture the bronze.
Giving the performance of his lifetime to the Four Seasons, Chan also presented a lesson in how to skate, interpret and perform a long program. All of his elements received positive Grades of Execution (GOE) from the judges. The 2007 World Junior silver medalist opened with a solid triple Axel, triple flip-triple toeloops, and a triple Lutz. He followed up with excellent circular footwork which embodied the music and accented every beat.
The teen also produced a solid triple Lutz-double toeloop-double loop combination, as well as three more triple jumps, and three very good level 4 spins. The crowd clapped throughout his excellent straightline footwork and were on their feet before the program ended. He placed first in the long with a record 159.26 points, and with a total score of 232.68 points, won his first national title.
Chan later told the press that he didn’t feel good during his warm-ups – especially the 25 minute warm-up in the morning. “I guess I should skate more in the mornings. I don’t skate very much in the mornings, but I fought through it. After that first Axel in the long program, I was pretty much at cruising speed and felt great.”
“I’m just taking it step by step right now,” added Chan, when asked about his future goals. “This whole season has been like a dream. I’ve taken big steps from the Grand Prix, where I didn’t even medal last year, and I’m medaling this season. I’ve learned that I should set my goals high and it’s turned out very well.”
Buttle drew a huge cheer from the crowd as he was announced, and then silence as he began with the plaintive horn. The three-time and defending champion stepped out of the landing of his second jump in his opening triple Axel-triple toeloop combination, but recovered to land a solid triple flip. He later fell on a triple Axel and doubled a Lutz, but otherwise landed three more solid triple jumps. The 2006 Olympic bronze medalist also produced three good level 4 spins and excellent circular and straightline footwork. He earned 149.05 points for his routine to music from the Ararat soundtrack, and with a total score of 229.85 points, slipped to second overall.
Buttle also admitted to not having a good warm-up that morning. “Sort of the same this morning [as Patrick]. I didn’t feel over top of myself [at the 25 minute warm-up earlier in the day]. I felt good when I stepped on the ice for the 6 minute warm-up. In the past I didn’t like skating last, especially after a skate like that. I felt really motivated. I felt comfortable and waiting the 40 minutes in between the warm-up and the skate didn’t bother me so much. I think these are huge bonuses I can take with me to the Four Continents and Worlds, and my season is technically getting better and better.”
Skating to Moments in Love, Sawyer showed lots of transitions and choreography from start to finish. The two-time and former bronze medalist nailed his triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but two-footed the landing of a triple Axel and triple flip. He also had a wild landing on a triple Lutz which drew -1.00 GOE from the judges, but he otherwise produced four level four spins, two double Axels, and very nice level 3 straightline footwork.
“I feel really good about that,” replied Sawyer, when asked what it felt like to be back on the podium. “Last year I was 4th, and after the short program I was all the way down to 6th. One of my big fears this year was to keep going down, so I’m happy that I’ve come back on the podium.”
Ken Rose (CO) skated with joy, lightness, and a sense of fun in his routine to Sing! Sing! Sing! which featured seven triple jumps and two double Axels. The 21-year-old, who stood in eighth after the short, placed fourth in the long (123.26 points) and seventh overall (181.69 points).
Kevin Reynolds (BC/YT), who stood in seventh after the short, placed fifth in the long (122.48 points) and sixth overall (182.58 points). The 17-year-old has shown very much improved presentation and interpretation of his music to Violin Concerto D Major and Minor Blue. Though he fell on his opening quadruple Salchow, he followed up with a solid quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop-triple loop combination – the first time a quad-triple-triple combination has been done by a Canadian. He underrotated and fell on a triple Axel, but otherwise produced four more triple jumps.
Showing marked improvement in his musicality and presentation, Vaughn Chipeur (AB/NT/NU) placed sixth in the long (122.26 points) and fourth overall (191.36 points). The 23-year-old put his hand down on the landing of a triple Axel, two-footed a double loop, and popped an Axel. He otherwise produced three level 4 spins.
Christopher Mabee (WO), who stood in third after the short, placed seventh in the long (120.18 points) and fifth overall (190.64 points). His performance to Sing! Sing! Sing! was entertaining and full of energy, but lacked the technical difficulty compared to that of the top skaters.
Fedor Andreev (EO) placed 11th in the long (111.64 points) and eighth overall (178.80 points). The 25-year-old, who performed his tango routine with attitude, had the crowd with him all the way as he skated with passion, style, and great speed.