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Yuzuru Hanyu headlines Skate Canada; TV, live stream schedule

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Nathan Chen set the bar last week. Now it’s Yuzuru Hanyu‘s turn.

Hanyu makes his Grand Prix season debut at Skate Canada in Kelowna, B.C., streaming live on NBC Sports Gold on Friday and Saturday. NBC airs highlights Sunday from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Hanyu, the two-time Olympic champion and Japanese megastar, is a clear favorite against a field lacking any of the other top-10 skaters from last season. Hanyu’s competition these days is the world champion Chen, even though they won’t go head-to-head until December at the earliest.

Chen opened his campaign last week at Skate America, totaling 299.09 points, tops in the world this season. Hanyu had been No. 1, after tallying 279.05 at a lower-level event in Canada in September.

Hanyu has conquered rivals before — Patrick Chan and Javier Fernandez, most notably. But neither boasted the jumping arsenal of Chen, who has the ability to land six quads in a free skate.

Chen comfortably outscored Hanyu in their last three head-to-head programs, including at last season’s worlds. Granted, Hanyu entered that event having not competed in four months due to another right ankle injury and, after taking silver at worlds, was withdrawn from the World Team Trophy to recover from said injury.

“I have never seen [Hanyu] at this time of the year to be so focused,” coach Brian Orser said in September. “When we were trying to surpass Patrick Chan, [Chan] was the benchmark. … We had to play to Patrick’s strengths, which was components [artistry]. … We had to build a plan to catch them and exceed them [the components] to get where he wants to be. Now, to get where he wants to be, he has to use himself as the measure.”

The women’s competition at Skate Canada is more decorated.

It features the top-ranked skater on the young season — Russian 15-year-old Alexandra Trusova — who landed four quads in her most recent free skate.

In her senior Grand Prix debut, Trusova takes on Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva, who seeks her first top-level international win in nearly two years. Plus, Japanese Rika Kihira, the top skater from the 2018 Grand Prix season, and 2018 U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who earned silver at Skate America.

World medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue headline the pairs’ and ice dance fields, respectively.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Skate Canada Broadcast Schedule

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 2 p.m. Rhythm Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
3:30 p.m. Women’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7 p.m. Pairs’ Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
8 p.m. Men’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Saturday 2 p.m. Free Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
4 p.m. Women’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7:45 p.m. Pairs’ Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
9:30 p.m. Men’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Sunday 4:30-6 p.m. Highlights NBC | STREAM LINK

 

Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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MORE: World Single Distances Championships broadcast schedule