Canada's Patrick Chan began the defence of his world figure skating championship with a come-from-behind win at Skate Canada International Saturday night in Mississauga, Ont.
Chan was third after the men's short program Friday but his free-skating program Saturday, was good enough, even with a fall and a stumble, to take gold and the $18,000 US first prize.
Javier Fernandez of Spain, the leader after the short program, took silver and $13,000 and Japan's Daisuke Takahashi won bronze and $9,000.
Chan got 253.74 points overall, Fernandez 250.33 and Takahashi 237.87.
This was the fourth consecutive win, counting last winter's nationals, for the 20-year-old Torontonian.
"It's cool," he said when asked about his streak. "You hear it all the time with hockey teams: four wins in a row, are they going to do it again?"
He'll get a shot at doing it again in two weeks at another Grand Prix meet, that one in Paris.
Chan falls on 1st jump
Chan fell on his first jump, a quadruple toe loop, but the mere attempt was worth a pile of points. He followed with another quad toe and it was bang-on. He tacked on a triple toe to make it a combo to drive home the reality that he is the best free skater in the world.
The 20-year-old Torontonian stumbled on a footwork sequence, too, but his overall skills were better than those of his competitors.
Fernandez, 19, laid down two quads, and Takahashi, 25, offered one off-balance quad that earned him fewer marks than Chan got with the one he fell on.
"I made an extra effort to stay relaxed today and it felt good," Chan said. "My [free-skating] program is so brand new that my breathing pattern is not there yet.
"I'm still in search of that. It wasn't pretty but I was really proud of myself in recovering after my [footwork] trip. I'm extremely relieved. Hopefully the next competition, in Paris, will be a little stronger. It's a work in progress."
Fernandez, who trains in Toronto with former Canadian and world champ Brian Orser, earned Spain's first-ever Grand Prix medal.
"I was pretty nervous but I think I did the best I can," he said.
Takahashi is coming off knee surgery.
Everything is coming back," he said. "But my skating was far from my best. I need to brush up on the technical level."
Andrei Rogozine, 18, of Richmond Hill, Ont., finished seventh with 193.40. It was his first senior Grand Prix meet for the former world junior champ. He had a poor landing on an Axel but jammed in seven other clean triples.
"It was a learning experience," he said. "It opens a door for me. I've learned what it's all about now."