Patrick Chan falters, finishes 5th at world championships
Toronto-native was 3rd after short program
It wasn't the storybook ending to his comeback season.
But moments after Canada's Patrick Chan finished fifth in his first appearance at the world figure skating championships in three years, he said it's all been worth it. No regrets.
"I think tomorrow I'll look back at the entire year, and there's really nothing to be upset about," Chan said. "As much as we all want to win and be on the podium, yeah it stinks to be in fifth after third in the short [program], but it's good to be here, and it's good to be feeling that pressure."
Javier Fernandez of Spain won gold with an outstanding skate that included three massive quad jumps. He scored 314.93 points.
Japan's Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, the leader after the short program, fell on one quad jump, and touched a hand down on another in an uncharacteristically shaky performance, to finish second with 295.17. Jin Boyang of China was third with 270.99 points.
Sitting third after the short program, a medal was Chan's for the taking. But, skating to music by Chopin, dressed in a simple charcoal shirt and black pants, he tripled his first planned quad jump. He landed his second quad, but then hit the boards on the triple toe-loop he'd tacked on the end. He then popped a triple Axel, scoring 266.75.
Not one to openly complain about conditions, Chan was frustrated with the ice. He was the last skater up after 11 men had gone before him, with no flooding of the rink.
"I felt like there were a lot of ruts and I couldn't feel confident when I stepped forward to set my edge, that my edge would go straight. It would skip and jump over bumps or go right or left," Chan said.
"Skating every day of your life, there's just a way you see the ice, and it looks a certain way. I was very distracted by the look of it. It has this frost, it doesn't have that shine to it. It sounds really stupid, but I know my ice really well and I just knew from the beginning, but I put it behind me."
Chan is making a comeback this season after an 18-month break from the sport, and Boston was his first world championships since he won his third straight gold in London, Ont., in 2013.
He praised the crowd in the packed 17,575-seat TD Garden — normally home to the Boston Bruins and Celtics. Dozens of fans waved Canadian flags in what was like a home event for Chan.
"Seeing third-tier rows of people, that's just a highlight of my life," Chan said. "One thing I remember today is stepping on that six-minute warm-up and looking up and thinking 'It's so great to be alive,' because you feel the energy."
Chan was asked if the past few roller-coaster months have been worth it.
"Absolutely," he said. "People ask me how it feels to compete now, and it feels like my first time coming to a senior event. I feel like I have a renewed idea of why I'm doing this. For me, it's been so refreshing. No regrets at all."
Fernandez, who, along with Hanyu, trains in Toronto with coach Brian Orser, said he knew when he stepped on the ice after Hanyu "if I have a chance to win, I have to have a clean program."
"And I did it," he said.
The Spaniard, who played to the audience with his Frank Sinatra program, clad in suspenders and shirtsleeves, won despite a heel injury that kept him out of practice on Thursday.
"He had a little bit of a look of panic on his face on practice today, and he kind of got really white," Orser said.
He then spent most of the day receiving treatment on the right heel he originally hurt about a month ago.
"The medical attention took quite a few hours, and it kind of occupied him, and he got a lot of attention, and he likes that," Orser said, smiling.
Earlier Friday, Canada's defending world pairs champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were second in the short program.