Patrick Chan

Patrick Chan runs away with Skate Canada title (video)

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Patrick Chan‘s Olympic season is off to a dominant start.

The three-time reigning world champion dusted off the field to win his fourth Skate Canada, posting 262.03 total points and receiving a standing ovation from a flag-waving crowd in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Saturday.

Chan won by a comfortable 27.23 over second-place Nobunari Oda of Japan.

Earlier, Canadian Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance competition with 181.03 points. Their total was 7.20 points lower than world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White at Skate America last week.

NBC and NBC Live Extra will have Skate Canada coverage Sunday from 4-6.

Gold gets bronze behind Russian teen

Chan, 22, did not beat Japan’s Tatsuki Machida‘s score at Skate America last week — 265.38.

He landed a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination to start his program and added another quad jump skating to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

“To be honest, I was kind of nervous,” Chan said of his free skate. “The best way to look at it is one element at a time.”

Also, the silver and bronze medalists from March’s World Championships, Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten and Spain’s Javier Fernandez, have yet to skate in the early Grand Prix season.

Americans Jeremy Abbott and Josh Farris fell on their opening jumps. Farris, the reigning world junior champion, recovered and improved from eighth after the short program to fifth with 216.72 points.

Abbott, the three-time U.S. champion, unraveled and dropped from fourth to sixth with 215.95. The other American, Ross Miner, was ninth at 196.89.

All three U.S. men at Skate America last week — Adam Rippon, Max Aaron and Jason Brown — posted higher overall scores.

Two U.S. men will make the Olympic team following the U.S. Championships in Boston in January.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir beat fellow Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje by 5.80 points in their Grand Prix season debut.

Virtue and Moir are next scheduled for Trophee Bombard in Paris in three weeks and could go head-to-head with Davis and White at the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, in the first week of December.

The only U.S. couple at Skate Canada, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, placed third with 153.20 points. They scored .22 higher than at Skate America last week, where they were the third best U.S. couple.

The U.S. earned three ice dance spots at the Olympics. Hubbell and Donohue will know how they stack up early in the season when U.S. silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate at Cup of China next week.

Men
1. Patrick Chan (CAN) 262.03
3. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 234.80
2. Nobunari Oda (JPN) 233.00
4. Michal Brezina (CZE) 218.32
5. Josh Farris (USA) 216.72
6. Jeremy Abbott (USA) 215.95
7. Elladj Balde (CAN) 205.19
8. Andrei Rogozine (CAN) 197.35
9. Ross Miner (USA) 196.89
10. Takahito Mura (JPN) 188.53

Ice Dance
1. Virtue/Moir (CAN) 181.03
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 175.23
3. Hubbell/Donohue (USA) 153.20
4. Razanova/Tkachenko (RUS) 145.56
5. Paul/Islam (CAN) 143.77
6. Zhiganshina/Gazsi (GER) 138.16
7. Guignard/Fabbri (ITA) 134.28
8. Stepanova/Bukin (RUS) 133.12

Patrick Chan defends Detroit, inspired by Justin Verlander

World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

AP
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

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U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

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The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

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