Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating

Rochette wins 4th Canadian skating title

Joannie Rochette won her fourth consecutive national title Sunday at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

Joannie Rochette won her fourth consecutive national title Sunday at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

Rochette, of Île Dupas, Que., had the day's best free skate with 116.44 points, and finished with 175.76 points overall.

Rochette, 22, came out confidently with a series of completed jumps. She fell midway through her program, then rebounded near the end with a strong triple-toe-triple Salchow combination.

"My goal was to do a clean program," Rochette told CBC Sports. It didn't happen tonight, but because I was really trained, I was able to do a good program despite the mistake I made."

Hometown favourite Mira Leung, 18, trailed Rochette by just over one point after the short program but skated unevenly in the free skate.

Leung started strongly, nailing a Triple Lutz-double loop and another triple before bailing on a couple of planned jumps.

The Vancouver native finished with 162.10 points.

Cynthia Phaneuf of Contrecoeur, Que., marked her first podium appearance in three years, with a total of 158.10 points. Phaneuf won the Canadian women's title in 2004 and finished second the following year before enduring knee and ankle injuries.

Phaneuf's gain came at the expense of Myriane Samson of Greenfield Park, Que. Samson dropped from third to fifth, finishing with 143.10 points.

Lesley Hawker of Barrie, Ont., fought back after a disappointing short program, moving up from seventh to fourth.

"When you have to come back it's always harder after you skate bad," said Hawker. "It's just something for some reason I can do and I have a great coach."

Hawker was third at the championships the past two years.

Rochette and Leung qualify for the world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March.

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