Joubert captures men's NHK Trophy
Brian Joubert of France won the NHK Trophy on Saturday in Nagano, Japan, earning his first Grand Prix title of the season with a strong performance in the men's free skate.
Joubert, who was first after the short program, landed a quadruple toe loop at the start of his routine to strengthen his lead and finished with 232.70 points for a 15-point margin over Johnny Weir of the United States. Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic was third with 217.48 points.
Canadian skaters Jeremy Ten (178.87) and Vaughn Chipeur (176.36) placed 10th and 11th, respectively.
"The long program was a fight but I never gave up," Ten said. "It was a great learning experience to be here amongst such a strong field. It was like a mini world championships."
Joubert tripled a planned quad salchow for his second element and did a triple toe loop instead of a quad later in his routine.
"I want to show that I am not just a jumper but a figure skater," Joubert said. "My goal was to do three quads but I also wanted to show good choreography and good steps."
Joubert, the 2007 world champion, finished fourth at the Trophee Bompard in Paris, but improved his chances of qualifying for the Dec. 3-6 Grand Prix final.
American Jeremy Abbott, second after the short program, had a disastrous free skate and finished in fifth place with 208.45 points.
Weir started off strong with a triple flip and a triple axel-triple toe loop combination but lost stamina as the program went on.
He doubled a planned triple toe loop and failed to do the double toe loop on the next two combination jumps.
"In the Olympic season I wanted to show a program that is pure and from the heart," Weir said. "I was happy that I was able to do that today."
Brezina was the world junior silver medallist last season and made the podium in his senior Grand Prix debut.
"I wanted to skate a clean program as I am a new face in the senior GP series," Brezina said. "I was happy to do that today and finish on the podium."
With files from Louis Daignault, Canadian Sport News