Canadian Champ Patrick Chan made the fans very happy Saturday by taking the top spot at Skate Canada with a very flawed program that garnered him a 137.98 and fourth place in the free skate. Canadian Shawn Sawyer actually won the free skate with a 142.36, but that wasn't enough to bring him back from seventh place into the medals.
Chan's free skate was not good. It started out ok, but he fell on his second triple axel, botched a jump entrance and just didn't do the jump, and stepped out of a double axel landing. He was rewarded with a low technical score (61.58) but a whopping 77.40 for presentation. His total was a 215.45. That presentation score wouldn't have been too unusual except that it was nearly a whopping 12 points better than second-place finisher American Ryan Bradley's score, and about seven points better than American Champion Evan Lysacek's presentation. I have already professed my love for Chan's skating, and I admit that Bradley needs A LOT of work on his presentation, but I'm not sure if Chan deserved THAT much better presentation scores than either (although he definitely deserved at least 7 points better than Bradley), especially since his technical implosion took a toll on the presentation of the rest of the program for me. Someone with less faith in the judging system or someone who doesn't have the code of points memorized might think there was some overcompensation going on there. Not me, of course. But someone might.
Ryan Bradley had a fairly good technical program, which included a quad toe. Like I said, his presentation leaves much to be desired (too many obvious "breathers" in his long program for my taste), but I was very impressed that he managed to move up to 2nd place, with a free skate score of 140.25 and a total of 212.75.
Evan Lysacek is not going to be able to win these competitions if his presentation is deemed that much worse than the winner's. But that's only my opinion. I thought he did rather well; a bit of a forward landing on a triple axel, but he landed it, and I could tell that his triple loop seemed underrotated, but I don't have slow-mo on the computer so I couldn't stop all of his other jumps and check it out. He had multiple triple/triple combinations. No quad attempt. Actually, I am guessing he must have had a bunch of flaws I didn't see because I would have thought his technical score would have been a bit higher; it was only six points better than Chan's, and Chan's jumping was not very good and had fewer combinations. Evan seems to be getting "Mean Girls"ed by these judges so he better figure out how to get them to ask him to sit at their lunch table, or his ability to ascend on the world stage leading up to the Olympics will be in doubt.
Leader Yannick Ponsero of Franch fell on his opening quad attempt, and the rest of the program ended up with a lot of doubles. He got a 130.92, bad enough for fifth.
Shawn Sawyer, free skate winner, was good, not great. But I don't mean that as far as his execution of the program, that may very well have been great, but the program and its contents are only good to me, so that's as well has he can do it. I think he has a Jeffrey Buttle-esque mastery of the code of points; he pulled out a lot of extra points for a program that was not as technically difficult as others (although it was delivered very well). Looks like Patrick Chan has some definite Canadian competition.
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