Chan repeats as Grand Prix champion
Sun, 11 Dec 06:07:00 2011
Drawing on the energy of a supportive crowd, Canada's Patrick Chan overcame a less than perfect free skate in Quebec City on Saturday to become the first repeat champion of figure skating's Grand Prix Final since 2001.
"I was mentally exhausted this whole week," said Chan, who had earlier suffered a backlash from fans and media questioning his loyalty after he said in an interview with Reuters that "in a perfect world" he wished he could have represented both China and Canada because of his ties to both countries.
"It has been a go-go-go situation, which is totally normal, and the audience helps in that situation."
Russian Evgeni Plushenko was the last skater to win the Grand Prix Final, which features the top six skaters from the season's Grand Prix events, in successive years when he defended the title in Tokyo in February 2001.
Chan scored 173.67 points in the free programme on Saturday, despite falling on a triple Lutz and placing both hands on the ice during a quad toe loop, to post a combined score of 260.30 points and secure the title over Japan's Daisuke Takahashi (249.12) and Spain's Javier Fernandez (247.55).
"The quads were really good this week, especially yesterday so it is kind of funny how they didn't work today," Chan said.
"I did quick thinking on my feet. I never do a triple flip, triple toe but I put one in and it worked well."
Chan had also crashed into the boards during the short programme on Friday after failing to execute a triple toe in combination with a quad, though he still recorded the highest total for the programme of 86.63 points.
Grand Prix Final: Highligh