Nam Nguyen, Gabrielle Daleman lead at skating nationals
Canadian figure skating championships taking place in Kingston, Ont.
Toronto teen Nam Nguyen has his first Canadian men's figure skating title within his grasp after winning the short program Friday.
The 16-year-old scored 81.78 points with a virtually flawless program to Nina Simone's "Sinnerman," to top a field that was missing three-time world champion Patrick Chan.
"I was just trying to have fun," Nguyen said. "I'm actually trying to keep the same mindset for myself, even though I am aware of the pressure now."
Jeremy Ten of Vancouver scored 77.80 points to stand second, while Roman Sadovsky, a 15-year-old from Vaughan, Ont., goes into Saturday's long program in third after scoring 73.46.
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., a three-time national silver medallist and member of Canada's team that won silver at last year's Olympics in Sochi, fell on all three of his jumps to finish a disappointing 12th.
Reynolds has had problems with ill-fitting skates for the better part of two seasons, and had just a month of solid training before arriving here.
Chan, meanwhile, won the previous seven Canadian men's titles, but is taking this season off to contemplate his competitive future.
Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., shrugged off an illness to finish first in the women's short program.
The 17-year-old, who has been battling strep throat, scored 62.91 points to top a field missing reigning Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond.
Daleman fell hard on her triple Lutz but skated an otherwise strong program.
Veronique Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., was second with 61.19, while Alaine Chartrand scored 60.25 for third.
Osmond, a two-time national champion and Olympic team silver medallist, is sidelined for the season after she fractured her right fibula in the fall.
Friday's short program set up a tight race for the two spots in women's singles on the Canadian team for the world championships in March. The Canadian championships determine Canada's squad.
In pairs, Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., are the leaders after the short program.
Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., were second, while Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., were third.
Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are the leaders in ice dance. Luba Ilyusheshkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were second, while Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Notre-Dame-du-Portage, Que., were third.