ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2009 Day 4
The competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2009 in Vancouver, Canada, concluded Saturday with the Men’s Free Skating. The Four Continents Championships came to Vancouver for the first time. Canada has hosted ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships before in 1999 in Halifax and in 2004 in Hamilton. The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships have been established in 1999 and since then have been growing year by year.

Men, Free Skating
In what was an exciting event, Patrick Chan of Canada claimed the gold medal and his first ISU Championships title in his debut at the Four Continents Championships. Evan Lysacek (USA)earned the silver medal, his fifth medal in this event. The bronze went to Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka.Performing to a Cello Sonata and Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov, Chan nailed abig triple Axel right out of the gate, a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple flip but then popped his secondAxel. The 18-year-old rallied back to land a triple Salchow, triple loop, triple Lutz-double toe-doubleloop and a double Axel and produced excellent spins and footwork. The three spins and thestraight line step sequence were all graded a level four by the Technical Panel. Chan scored160.29 points (80.19 element score/80.10 program component score) and improved his previouspersonal best of 156.70 points.

Overall he racked up 249.19 points, another personal record forhim and the highest score any man has achieved this season so far. When his scores came up,Chan smiled broadly and waved to the crowd. “It’s just overwhelming I think. And to think that it’smy first Four Continents, I think I did pretty well for my first one. It’s great, because it also helpsgoing to Worlds”, Chan said. “It (the program) wasn’t as good as Nationals. My second triple Axeldidn’t go here. I was thinking, ‘great, I have another full minute to go without a triple Axel. But itwas the whole package, not just the jumps. I just have to go to Worlds and skate two cleanprograms like Jeff (Buttle) did. I believe now if I do both triple Axels and all the other triples in mylong program as well as a clean short,

I think I could get a gold medal at the Worlds”, he added.Lysacek stood in second place after the Short Program and skated first in the final group. He tookthe ice with a determined look and landed a quadruple toeloop, but then put down his hand on acheated the triple Axel. The 23-year-old didn’t let that error affect the rest of his performance to“Rhapsody in Blue” and reeled off a triple Salchow, triple Axel-triple toe, triple lop, triple flip-doubletoe-double loop, a triple Lutz and another triple flip as well as fast level-four spins and level-threefootwork. The two-time World bronze medalist posted a new seasons best of 155.50 points(80.80/74.70) and remained in second place with 237.15 points overall. “I feel good about myperformance at this point of the season and I think I’m building momentum as the season goes on.I had a little slow start, but I’m hoping to peak by the World Championships.

This was just a goodstepping stone for me”, Lysacek told the press. “The competition (Four Continents) has changedso much. A lot of the top athletes would pass and not come and they would take a rest and getready for Worlds. And now it’s become sort of the super power competition for the Men and for theLadies. With the exception of Brian (Joubert), I think the top contenders in the world were here andthe strength in the overall competition was remarkable. So I’m proud to have won a medal amongthat difficult field”, he explained when asked about competing in his sixth Four ContinentsChampionships and winning his fifth medal.

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