Chan, Rochette win Paris Grand Prix
Buntin overcomes gash
Toronto's Patrick Chan and Joannie Rochette of Île-Dupas, Que., each skated well enough to retain first place on Saturday, winning the Trophée Eric Bompard in France.
Chan survived a stumble in his free skate on Saturday to take the Paris event for the second consecutive year.
She was making her first appearance in two years at the Trophée Bompard, an event she won in the 2004-05 season.
Chan and Rochette won at Skate Canada in Ottawa earlier this month.
Chan, 17, skated last at Bercy Arena in Paris. Skating to a combination of two selections of music by Rachmaninoff (Allegro Scherzando and Andante from Cello Sonata and Allegro Scherzando from Piano Concerto No. 2), he landed a combination in the first minute but midway through the program touched down with his hand on a triple attempt.
He still won the free skate with a score of 156.7. Combined with his first-place showing in the short program, he totalled 238.09 points.
Chan made his senior debut at the event two years ago before winning it last year.
"It's almost like a hometown competition for me, I've been here so many times," Chan told CBCSports.ca during a media conference call. "It makes easier for me to get used to things."
Rochette defeated defending world champion Mao Asada, who was making her first Grand Prix appearance of the year. The Japanese champ finished with 167.59 points, with 15-year-old American Caroline Zhang third with 156.54.
Rochette, won her free skate with a near faultless performance, except for a slight spill on the final jump. She said she overcame feeling unusually tired earlier in the week.
"If I compare it to Skate Canada there were some elements that were better, some not, but overall I'm happy," said Rochette.
"I'm happy I did my triple-triple sequence," she added.
Duhamel, Buntin persevere
Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and partner Craig Buntin of Kelowna, B.C., followed Chan with a brave performance in the free skate for third overall in the pairs competition.
Duhamel's skate clipped Buntin's right hand during a lift and they were forced to stop. Buntin's hand was bandaged, but they went on — when the program resumed — to post the second-best score in the free skate, 107.97
"We just kind of went off pattern after our Salchow," said Duhamel. "Unfortunately I kicked him with my heel or toe pick.
"It was a pretty scary moment."
Duhamel and Buntin finished with 166.63 points. It was a tremendous showing for the Canadian duo, who finished fourth at Skate America last month.
Reigning world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany were first with 188.50 points, with Russians Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov second with 170.87 points.
World champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France won the ice dance title with a total score of 184.81. Italian pair Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali were second (179.58) and British siblings Sinead Kerr and John Kerr finished third (176.96).
Vanessa Crone of Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., were fourth (171.49)
Japan's Takahiko Kozuka, who won Skate America, put the heat on Chan with a strong program. Kozuka showed his jumping prowess en route to a final score of 153.78.
Chan said his second Paris win is more special than the first because Joubert and other strong competitors were absent last year.
He stumbled on a triple axel-double toe loop combination and a triple Salchow.
"I feel really good with the way I skated, even though I made two mistakes. I didn't feel too loose or too tight," he said. "Just to see I was in first place after the free skate was a big, big relief."
The Trophée Eric Bompard is the fourth of six International Skating Union Grand Prix events.
With two victories, Chan is set up well for the Grand Prix final in Goyang, South Korea, in mid-December. Chan said the fact that the rest of the top men are doing quads will make him practise the jump when he resumes training.
With files from the Canadian Press