Out of superlatives to describe Patrick Chan’s performance at the Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris, one had to turn to the made-up variety: “Chan-tastic!” “Chan-neling greatness!” “Chan the man!”
Once again Saturday the reigning and three-time world champion from Canada delivered a highest-ever score (also known as a world record) at the fifth Grand Prix of the season, registering a 196.75 in the free skate for a 295.27 total to run away with the gold medal.
“Is that a world record?” asked his coach Kathy Johnson in the Kiss and Cry. “I think it’s a world record.”
There was no doubting the 22-year-old’s performance, which included two cleanly-landed quadruple jumps and seven triples, executed precisely by the skater that many believe to be the favorite for the Sochi Olympics come February.
Overall, Chan scored the highest score ever in all three categories this weekend: the short program, the free skate and the overall score.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu delivered a strong performance, skating to second place with a 263.59 while American Jason Brown, just 18, was third. The bronze-medal finish for Brown marks his first Senior Grand Prix podium in just two appearances.
Earlier, in the pairs competition, two-time world champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian edged out Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford for the gold medal. Americans Caydee Denney and John Coughlin captured the bronze, up a spot from fourth place after the short program.
While the day belonged to Chan, the ripples of Brown’s energetic program and third-place finish in Paris will be felt across the Atlantic, where he joins Adam Rippon as two skaters who are shaking up the men’s field leading into the U.S. Championships in January, where just two Olympic spots are available for Team USA.
Skating to Riverdance’s “Reel Around the Sun,” Brown hit seven triple jumps and only faltered one, popping an Axel into a single.
“Oh my god!” exclaimed Brown as his score, a personal best of 243.09, popped up. He covered his face in disbelief.
Brown’s score is first among the American men this season, edging out scores from Rippon and Max Aaron’s performances from Skate America.
China’s Yan Han, who won the Cup of China earlier this month, faltered in his free skate, not able to challenge Brown for the podium. It was a disappointing weekend for the 17 year old, who was seen – along with Hanyu – as a challenger to Chan.
But Hanyu was the only skater to chase Chan in the slightest, though he fell on a quadruple toe in his long program.
“We can add 20 more points to that total,” said his coach, former Olympian Brian Orser, after the marks came through.
Denney/Coughlin, the 2012 U.S. champions, landed on their first podium of the season after finishing fourth at Skate America last month. Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Lariyonov dropped from third place to fourth overall.
Later Saturday the ice dance and Ladies’ programs come to a close, where Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and American Ashley Wagner are leaders, respectively, coming into the long programs.
@jasonbskates congrats on your first Grand Prix medal!! To many more to come!! 🏆🏆
— Sarah Hughes (@SarahHughesNY) November 16, 2013
Patrick CHAN CAN 295.27
Yuzuru HANYU JPN 263.59
Jason BROWN USA 243.09
Han YAN CHN 214.23
Michal BREZINA CZE 206.22
Nan SONG CHN 204.73
Florent AMODIO FRA 191.13
Alexander MAJOROV SWE 180.62
Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN 193.86
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 190.89
Caydee DENNEY / John COUGHLIN USA 184.01
Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV RUS 180.07
Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 172.27
Natasha PURICH / Mervin TRAN CAN 162.09
Annabelle PRÖLSS / Ruben BLOMMAERT GER 157.62
Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 147.88