Patrick Chan may qualify for figure skating's Grand Prix Final
ISU confirms points from shortened Trophée Eric Bompard in France
Patrick Chan is in good position to qualify for figure skating's Grand Prix final after the International Skating Union confirmed the points from the shortened Trophée Eric Bompard competition that ended prematurely in Bordeaux, France on Nov. 13 due to the attacks in Paris.
Chan is currently third in the men's standings with the top six skaters in each of the four disciplines securing spots to the Grand Prix final in Barcelona, Spain from Dec. 10-13. Chan won Skate Canada and finished fifth in the short program in France. The ISU has determined that the short program will be used as the final standings for the French event.
The ISU also announced that skaters finishing seventh in the Grand Prix standings that competed in France would be given spots for Barcelona.
There is one more Grand Prix event to be contested, the NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan beginning this Friday. Three skaters have a chance to push Chan down the standings. Still, Chan should finish no lower than sixth if that were to happen. U.S. champion Jason Brown, a fourth challenger to Chan's spot in the standings, withdrew from the NHK Trophy event with a back injury.
Michael Slipchuk, the high performance director of Skate Canada, likes Chan's chances to compete in Barcelona.
"Definitely with the format the ISU has put in place with the situation in France, Patrick is in a very good spot to qualify. Nothing is ever set in stone until it ends, but he's sitting third right now and there's three to four athletes at the most who could possibly change the order of these placements. There's the stipulation that if the seventh-placed person was at France that they will be granted a spot.
"We do foresee that he's in a good position and we're optimistic that he will be there."
Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who won both their Grand Prix events at Skate Canada and this past weekend's Rostelecom Cup in Russia, are guaranteed a place in Barcelona. Slipchuk said he expects pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, who also won at Skate Canada, to have a strong performance at the NHK Trophy to earn a place at the Grand Prix final.
Two other Canadian duos are in contention to make the Grand Prix final.
"With [ice dancers] Piper [Gilles] and Paul [Poirier] and Julianne [Seguin] and Charlie [Bilodeau] in pairs, a lot is going to depend on what happens at NHK because there are a few entries in both of those disciplines that were also in France," Slipchuk said. "They all fall into that scenario of getting a top-six placement and also vying for that one alternate spot that could be there from the Cup of France."
Gillis and Poirier are currently fifth in the dance standings, while Seguin and Bilodeau sit in fourth place.
"So things are taking shape but the scenario that the ISU has put in place is the most fair given the situation," said Slipchuk. "There's no perfect system but hopefully a few [Canadian] athletes can get a chance to get through given the situation."