Ice Network

Osmond glides to emphatic win in Saskatchewan

Brown, Wagner claim silver, bronze; Virtue, Moir set another world record
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Aside from mistakes on her first and last jump elements, Kaetlyn Osmond delivered a quality skate en route capturing the gold by more than 20 points. Performing to 'Black Swan', the world silver medalist landed five clean triples on her way to a segment score of 136.85 and an overall mark of 212.91, enabling her to win her second career Skate Canada title. -Getty Images

Kaetlyn Osmond secured her second title on home ice with a gold-medal winning performance Saturday at 2017 Skate Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan, while Shoma Uno capped his competition by winning men's gold. In pairs skating, Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won their fourth consecutive Skate Canada title, with teammates Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir claiming the top honor in ice dance by recording a new world-record event total.


Osmond, who held more than a seven point advantage entering the free skate, suffered a shaky start to her Black Swan program, stumbling badly on the back end of her triple flip-triple toe combo. The early flaw didn't prevent her from staying in the moment, however, as she'd go on to land a double axel-triple toe, a triple lutz and two additional triples. While she would later double her flip and fall on a double axel at the end of her program, the 21-year-old still managed to accrue 136.85 points in the segment and 212.91 overall to capture gold.

"I am absolutely happy with how today went, but in my long program, I definitely have some work to do," Osmond said. "Overall, it was my best performance of the season, although some of the jumps did not work out great."

Russia's Maria Sotskova was second after the short program, and after delivering a fluid performance to Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" -- which was highlighted by four clean triples -- the 2016 world junior silver medalist earned 126.42 points for her free and 192.52 in total, departing Saskatchewan with the silver medal.

"I am pleased with my performance, because I skated my program clean and I am happy with my score and my result," the 17-year-old said. "It is an important season, but I prepared for it like any other season. I try not to think about it too much, because it would make me nervous."

Despite finishing just seventh in the short program, 2015 Skate Canada champion Ashley Wagner gave a strong performance of her Moulin Rouge free, completing four clean triple jumps as well as a triple loop. The reigning world silver medalist picked up an additional 122.37 points, contributing to her total score of 183.94 points, which was just enough to lock up bronze.

"Today was a really solid skate for me," Wagner said. "I think it was a nice checking point for me to see where I am in the season and where I want to go. It was a huge stepping stone that is out of the way and I am looking forward to Skate America and being even stronger."

Wagner's American teammate, Courtney Hicks, secured fourth in the final standings with 182.57 points, while 2017 world junior silver medalist Marin Honda of Japan recovered from a faulty short program to land fifth with 178.24 points.

Russia's Anna Pogorilaya, who was second entering the free skate, dropped to ninth overall with 156.89 points.


Uno reeled off a stellar quad loop, a quad toe-triple toe combination, four clean triples -- including a triple axel-triple flip combination -- as well as two Level 4 spins during his "Nessun Dorma" free skate, all while dazzling the crowd in Saskatchewan. Though he'd fall out of an under-rotated quad toe and two-foot his quad flip, the 19-year-old -- who already has two Grand Prix Final bronze medals to his name -- collected 197.48 points in the segment and 301.10 in total to claim the gold medal.

"The overall performance in the free skate, like yesterday in the short, is satisfactory at this point of the season," Uno said. "But I really need to improve my stamina. The mistakes on the quad toe and flip happened because I lacked stamina."

Vaulting from third after the short program, Jason Brown produced six clean triples and exquisite spins and footwork during his "Inner Love" routine, an effort that proved more than enough to help the fan favorite win the silver medal. Despite going down on an under-rotated quad toe, Brown still managed to accrue 170.43 points in the segment, finishing with 261.14 overall.

"As a whole this week, I'm really proud of the performances that I put out here," Brown said. "I definitely had a couple of hiccups here and there, but I kept the integrity of the programs. It's nice to continue getting them out early on in this Grand Prix season."

Making his debut on the Grand Prix circuit, Russia's Alexander Samarin produced big jumps -- including a quad lutz, a quad toe and six triples -- during his "House of the Rising Sun" free skate. The 2017 world junior bronze medalist set a personal-best segment mark of 166.04, with his event total of 250.06 points proving to be high enough for the bronze medal.

"I am very happy with the result," Samarin said. "Honestly, I did not expect to end up on the podium in my debut at the Grand Prix. I am very pleased to have landed the quad lutz in both programs because it wasn't too long ago that I felt uncomfortable with it. I need to work on my components especially. Luckily, I don't have problems with the technical part."

Six-time Skate Canada champion Patrick Chan fell on his opening quadruple toe and was unable to hold things together throughout the duration of his program, and he'd go on to finish fourth in the final standings.

Belgium's Jorik Hendrickx landed fifth with 237.31 points, while Czech Republic's Michal Březina finished in sixth place with 237.04 points.


Duhamel and Radford, in pursuit of their fourth straight title on home ice, delivered a dynamic and technically demanding program to "Samson and Delilah" and "Uprising" by Muse that was highlighted by a triple twist, a side-by-side triple lutz, a sound quadruple throw salchow and difficult lifts. When the pair hit their final pose, the crowd at Regina's Brandt Center erupted in cheers, showering the hometown favorites with a standing ovation. The Canadian champions registered a season's-best score of 148.69 points and totaled 222.22 overall, marks that helped them secure another gold medal.

"We felt really good when we came into the rink tonight to perform," Duhamel said. "We have been training the long program so well, so we had a lot of confidence in the mileage that we had put into that free program over the last few weeks at home.

"It's really great for us to have that great skate here in Canada, because we're not going to have the opportunity to perform here at home many more times," she continued. "We have just our nationals left. So, to be able to have that moment one more time in Canada is a special memory for us."

Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot performed an exquisite program to "La Terre vue du ciel," which featured a huge triple twist, a throw triple salchow and a throw double axel. Despite entering the free skate in first place, the Germans slipped to third in the segment with a season's-best 138.32 points, and would be forced to settle for the silver medal with 215.66 points.

"We were really well prepared for the long program, but some jumps were not working," Savchenko said. "We will keep on working, but overall, I am very positive."

Performing to "Say Something" and "Sense of Freedom," France's Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès were nothing short of outstanding, hitting a triple twist and a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination as well as a triple salchow and throw triple lutz. James two-footed only the throw quadruple salchow but not even that minor hiccup could prevent the French champions from picking up the bronze medal with an event tally of 214.37 points.

"We are very happy with the result as this is our first Grand Prix podium outside France," Ciprès said. "I think it was a great battle this week between the Germans, the Canadians and us. We still have a lot of stuff to work on and we want to keep going like this and see what is going to happen."

Russia's Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert landed fourth in the final standings with 192.70 points, while China's Cheng Peng and Yang Jin moved up from seventh after the short program to take fifth with 182.50 points.

Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier slotted seventh with 172.95 points.


Virtue and Moir took their seventh Skate Canada title, and posted a world record score in the process. Their teammates, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, edged Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. by less than a point to clinch a one-two finish for Canada.

The victors dazzled throughout their intense performance to "Tango de Roxanne" and "Come What May" from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, one that featured spectacular lifts and intricate footwork. The 2010 Olympic champions collected a Level 4 for their lifts, twizzles and spin, and their step sequences were rated Level 3. The team earned 117.18 points in the free and increased their world record total score to 199.86.

"We were anxious today; we were a little nervous. We wanted to perform well because this is a program we are emotionally attached to and we felt the pressure," Moir said. "We wanted to put on a show and start the year with a bang, and it translated well."

Weaver and Poje delivered a passionate performance to "Je suis malade," executing beautiful lifts and well-synchronized twizzles. Like Virtue and Moir, they picked up a Level 4 for their lifts, spin and twizzles, and a Level 3 for their footwork. They ranked just third in the free dance with 112.54 points but still managed to hold on to second place with 190.01 points overall.

The Canadians had changed their free dance following a competition earlier this fall, resuscitating a program they used in the 2011-12 season.

"There was a lot of dusting off to be done, and the rules had changed as well, so we had to update several things," Weaver said. "But, ultimately, this is the best we can be and this program, we feel, is very representative of ourselves and our team."

Dancing to "Across the Sky" and the bluesy "Caught Out in the Rain," Hubbell and Donohue executed strong elements as well, gathering all Level 3's and 4's, and finished second in the free dance with 113.35 points. Overall, they remained in third place with 189.43 points.

"Zach and I are filled with gratitude -- with gratitude for each other and for our team that has been training us so well," Hubbell said. "It was a really good day for us, and we're looking forward to going back home and training more."

On the strength of their "Liebestraum" free dance, 2014 world junior champions Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the U.S. moved up one spot to fourth.

Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd, the world junior silver medalists, took home a fifth-place finish in their Grand Prix debut, while Olivia Smart and Adrià Díaz of Spain slipped from fourth to sixth.