Canada’s Chan wins gold at skating world championships

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

Patrick Chan had another record-breaking day at the figure skating world championships in Moscow on Thursday. He won gold with a difficulty-filled routine that earned him a 187.96, breaking Daisuke Takahashi's record for the long program. Japan's Takahiko Kozuka took silver, while bronze went to Russia's Artur Gachinski.

Though Chan had a comfortable lead after the short program, he stuck with an aggressive skate. He started with a quad toe loop then followed it with quad toe-triple toe combination. His skate was nearly perfect, save one step out on a triple Axel. Over the two day competition, it was the only spot where Chan received a deduction. He finished 32.96 points ahead of Kozuka, an unheard of margin of victory.

After the skate, he was asked how he would celebrate the win.

"Vodka!" he said. He also talked about how it was hard to stay focused after the short program. "I'm a very happy person. It's easy to get distracted, but I treated it like another program."

In what could have been a sweep for Japanese men, Kozuka -- considered the third-best among his countrymen -- is the only one to walk away with a medal. His moving skate started with a perfectly thrown quad, and had just one small mistake on the triple Axel.

Artur Gachinski made his senior worlds debut with a bang, earning a bronze in front of his home crowd. With Russia's skating royalty looking on, the 17-year-old completed a quad jump, meaning that all three medalists landed the jump that barely used just one year ago at the Vancouver Olympics.

The American delegation didn't fare as well. Richard Thornbush took eighth, followed by Ross Miner at 11th and Ryan Bradley at 12th. Bradley's routine was packed with difficulty, including two quad jumps, but he didn't get full credit for one of the jumps, and turned a triple into a single on a combination. The poor showing by the U.S. means that only two skaters will represent the U.S. at next year's world championships.

The reigning world champion, Japan's Daisuke Takahashi, had the blade on his skate come loose early in his routine. Though he was allowed to continue, he was flustered and fell on a triple Salchow.

The quad was seen much more during these championships because skating rules were tweaked to reward skaters for trying the extremely difficult jump. Chan proved that executing the quad perfectly was his key to winning world championship gold.

Canadians can watch Chan's full performance here.

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