Skate Canada International opened in Mississauga, Ontario on Friday with the Short Dance, the Ladies and Pairs Short Programs. Skate Canada is the second of six events in the series. The skaters compete for a global prize money of US $ 180, 000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements.
Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS) captures Ladies Short ProgramElizaveta Tuktamisheva of Russia captured the Ladies Short Program with Ashley Wagner (USA) and Rachael Flatt (USA) finishing in second and third. Performing to a Tango by Astor Piazzolla, Tuktamisheva hit a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple loop and double Axel to pick up a new personal best score of 59.57 points. “Competing in my first senior Grand Prix event, I didn't know what to expect”, the 14-year-old World Junior silver medallist said. “I liked competing here and I skated well and I enjoyed skating. I am very happy with today's result”, she added.Wagner put out a solid skate to “Pollock” by Jeff Beal that featured a triple flip-double toe, a double Axel and two level-four spins. The two-time World junior bronze medallist scored 54.50 points. “I tought today was a pretty, solid performance. Obviously I would have preferred the Lutz was not such a flutz. But I was very happy with the program. It was similar to my practices and I think it was a very good start to my Grand Prix season”, Wagner commented. Flatt completed a triple flip-double toe, a triple Lutz and double Axel in her routine to “East of Eden” to earn 54.23 points. “I'm very excited to have started out the season with such a strong short program, because I have not had the best short programs at the Grand Prix over the years. I'm looking forward to tomorrow”, the 18-year-old university student said.
Akiko Suzuki (JPN) missed her combination jump to finish fourth at 52.82 points and Mirai Nagasu (USA) sits in fifth after falling on the triple Lutz (52.73 points).
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) lead in Pairs Short ProgramRussia's Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov skated to the lead in the Pairs Short Program. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada and Japan's Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran came second and third.Volosozhar/Trankov's program to “Bring Me Back To Life” by Evanescence was highlighted by a big triple twist, a throw triple flip and triple toe. The World silver medallists earned a level four for the lift, footwork, death spiral and pair spin to post a new personal best of 70.42 points. “We did a good short program today and we got a nice score for us”, said Volosozhar. “For sure we can skate better than how we did today, because we had some small mistakes. But we are very happy with our good score. It will be easier to skate our free program. We skated better than in other competitions this season, and this means we are on the right way”, Trankov added. Duhamel/Radford landed a triple twist, side by side triple Salchow and throw triple Lutz in their program to “Concierto de Aranjuez”. The Canadians scored 62.37 points. “It's our first time to do a clean short together as a team, so that was our goal this week, to get a level three on our triple twist was another goal and to get 27 points for components. So that was a really successful short for us. We lost some points on our spin and footwork, so there is room for us to grow for our next Grand Prix”, Duhamel told the press.Takahashi/Tran produced a triple twist and four level-four elements, but she stumbled on the throw triple Salchow and put down her hand on the triple toe. At 60.60 points, the two-time World Junior medallists edged out two-time World Junior Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN). “Our Short Program wasn't perfect, but the overall skating was great. I am happy that we got over 60 (points) for the first time, but I think we have room to improve”, Takahashi noted. Cong/Han finished fourth at 59.23 points. She underrotated and two-footed the triple toe. Lubov Iliushechkina/Nodari Maisuradze (RUS) are standing in fifth place at 58.14 points.
Javier Fernandez (ESP) grabs Men's Short Program Javier Fernandez of Spain was the surprise winner in the Men's Short Program, beating 2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan and 2011 World Champion Patrick Chan of Canada. Fernandez nailed a quadruple toeloop, triple Lutz-triple toeloop and a triple Axel in his program to “I Love Paris” and “Petit Fleur” to earn a personal best of 84.71 points. “I'm really happy. I'm so happy that my work paid off. We were working hard to go to the competition and do a good program, and I'm happy that tonight everything worked out. The quad was really easy. I have no words. It was amazing tonight”, the Spaniard told the post-event press conference.Takahashi's oriental program to “Garden of Souls” was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, a triple Axel and triple Lutz. The 2010 Olympic bronze medallist scored 84.66 points. “I really wanted to put out the quad today in the program, but after it didn't go well in the six minutes warm up, I decided not to do it today. I was able to skate clean without a quad, so it was not so good and not so bad, but overall I'm pretty happy with my performance”, Takahashi commented.Crowd favorite Chan opened with a quadruple toe but stumbled out of it. The Canadian then doubled the Axel but recovered to land a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and level-four spins. The At 83.28 points, the World Champion trails his rivals by a little over one point. “Things happen. I was really proud of myself and I was actually more happy than if I had skated clean, because it just showed how well I could rely on my training. Even though that little trip and slip on my edge (on the quad) it wasn't a big deal. I got right up and actually rotated and stayed on my feet”, Chan said. “Even with the double Axel, I still stayed in character with the program and it really saved me. Tomorrow it's going to be a great competition with the three of us. It's a close competition and that's what the audience is here to watch”, the 20-year-old from Toronto continued.Adam Rippon (USA) came fourth with 72.89 points and Denis Ten (KAZ) is ranked fifth (71.40 points).
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) win Short DanceTessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to first place in the Short Dance. Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje finished in second ahead of Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte of Italy. Virtue/Moir gave a characteristic and strong performance of their dance to Samba and Rhumba, picking up a level four for the first Rhumba pattern, the twizzles and the lift. The Olympic Champions earned 71.61 points. “We are so excited about our skate. After last season when we watched Skate Canada International from the stands, (and) it is much better to be out there on the ice. We're coming off probably one of the best summers we ever had, training a 100 percent. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do with the program, but that's the good news, it's October and we have a full season ahead of us”, Virtue said.Weaver/Poje's sultry Rhumba and lively Samba featured a straight line lift, strong twizzles and a well synchronized side by side circular footwork. Their Rhumba sequences merited a level three. The 2010 Four Continents Champions scored 63.31 points. “We've been training very hard over the summer. Our placement at Worlds (5th) only fueled us more and we are excited to have skated a strong short dance with strong levels and we are looking forward to the free dance”, Weaver commented.Cappellini/Lanotte got a level three for the Rhumba as well and interpreted the Latin rhythms very well. The Italians got 61.92 points. “For us it was really exciting to skate Latin because we feel this dance belongs to us. It's really our character. It was the first major competition of the season and it was a very important step. We were very happy that with the way we skated”, Cappellini noted.Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko (RUS) are ranked fourth with 54.94 points and 2011 World Junior silver medallists Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) were fifth at 51.24.
For full results please see www.isu.org
photos Janos Schmidt