Ice Network

Brilliant Ten cruises to gold at Four Continents

Duhamel, Radford's Muse medley propels duo to pairs title in Seoul
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Skating to music from the appropriately titled album 'New Possibilities,' Kazakhstan's Denis Ten roared to gold with a history-making performance. The Olympic bronze medalist blew the roof off the Mokdong Ice Rink with a sterling free skate that netted him 191.85 points, giving him a competition total of 289.46, the third-highest score ever recorded under the international judging system. -Getty Images

The 2015 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continued Saturday at Mokdong Arena in Seoul, South Korea, with the pairs and men' free skates.

Pairs

Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford claimed the pairs gold. China's Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang took the silver medal, while the bronze went to their teammates, Qing Pang and Jian Tong.

Skating to a Muse medley, Duhamel and Radford landed a triple twist, throw quadruple Salchow, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, as well as a throw triple Lutz and picked up a Level 4 for four elements. However, they both struggled with the landing of their side-by-side triple Lutzes. The Grand Prix Final champions scored 143.81 points and accumulated 219.48 points overall to win their second Four Continents title since 2013.

"We're especially proud of the throw quad because we both made a mistake on the triple Lutz, and then we have to turn around so quickly to do the hardest element, and that took a lot of mental strength from us," Duhamel said. "And that is something that I'm extremely proud of. I think for worlds, we want to add more speed and energy to the program." 

Peng and Zhang's program to "Piano Trio No. 2" by Dmitri Shostakovich was highlighted by a quadruple twist, throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow as well as difficult lifts, but Peng fell on the double Axel. The Cup of China champions posted a new personal best with 131.64 points for a 201.45 total.

"This is our first medal at this event and we got more than 200 points, which is nice, but we made mistakes," Peng noted. "So, hopefully at the world championships we can skate better than that."

Pang and Tong produced a triple twist, throw triple Salchow and throw triple loop, as well as three Level 4 elements in their routine to Andrea Bocelli's "Io Ci Sarò," but she singled an Axel and doubled the toe loop. The 2010 Olympic silver medalists earned 133.12 points and finished second in the free skate. With 199.99 points, the two-time world champions moved up from second to third.

"We have five gold medals from this event and this time it is the bronze, but it is more exciting, because this is the first competition for us since we came back," Tong said. "This competition is a good practice for us before the world championships and an encouragement for our last competition in Shanghai."

China's Wenjing Sui and Cong Han dropped from second to fourth at 198.88 points. They performed a quadruple twist, but their pairs combination spin received no level.

Team USA's Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim remained in fifth place with 187.98 points, followed by Canada's Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch with 173.50 points.

Men's

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan struck gold, taking the first International Skating Union championship title for his country. Team USA's Joshua Farris moved up from fifth to collect the silver medal, and the bronze went to China's Han Yan.

Ten reeled off a quadruple toe, a quadruple-triple toe combination, triple Axel-double toe and four more clean triples, as well as Level 4 spins and footwork. The only glitch was a wobbly triple Axel. The Olympic bronze medalist set a new personal-best score with 191.85 points and racked up a total of 289.46 points to take his first medal at the Four Continents Championships.

"Exactly one year ago today I got a medal at the Olympic Games, and I think this is a good way to celebrate the anniversary of my medal," Ten said. "My major goal for this season was to perform well at this competition. I was just so happy with how I skated, because I can't say I was in top condition today. Overall, it was a good skate. But, honestly, I wanted to skate even stronger than that. I was ready for it, but I was maybe a bit tired."

Performing to Schindler's List, Farris hit a triple Axel, a shaky quadruple toe loop and six clean triples to score 175.72 points, surpassing his previous personal best by 23 points. The 2013 world junior champion won his first medal at the Four Continents Championships with a total score of 260.01 points.

"I felt very nervous; I was shaking all day," Farris said. "But once I got out there, I turned those nerves into determination. It worked. I can't believe it. Considering I wasn't expecting [the silver medal], I'm ecstatic. I worked very hard, and I feel like I deserve the skates I had and I'm proud."

Yan's program to "Fly Me to the Moon" featured a triple Axel-triple toe combination, another triple Axel, a wobbly quad toe and four good triples. The 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist picked up a personal best of 172.13 points, and placed fourth in the free skate, but remained in third place with 259.47 points overall.

"It was the best performance of the season but not yet my best level," Yan said. "My training has been going well; therefore, I was able to land the jumps. This gives me confidence for the world championships."

Japan's Daisuke Murakami finished third in the free and fourth overall with another strong performance that included two quadruple Salchows (256.47 points). Japan's Shoma Uno dropped from second to fifth after a few errors (256.45 points), and Team USA's Jason Brown moved up from ninth to sixth at 243.21 points.