Sports
Gold for Chan, German pair at worlds
Published : Apr 29, 2011 - 18:16
Updated : Apr 29, 2011 - 18:16
MOSCOW (AFP) ― Canada’s Patrick Chan claimed his first world title as German pair Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy took their third gold on a record-breaking day at the world figure skating championships on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Chan finally stood on top of the podium after being runner-up for the past two years landing two quadruple jumps on his way to world records in the free skate and overall totals.

Savchenko and Szolkowy, the 2008 and 2009 champions, reclaimed the title they lost last year with a world record performance to the Pink Panther soundtrack.

Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took silver with defending champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China having to settle for bronze.

Earlier Chan followed on from his world record in the short program, to achieve another record 187.96 for his free skate to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantasia’ giving him an overall total of 280.98.

He overtook the previous world marks of 175.84 and 264.41 achieved by Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi at the 2008 Four Continents to finish 22.57 points ahead of second-placed Japanese qualifier Takahito Kozuka.

Chan hit two quadruple toeloops and seven triples with the only glitch in an action-packed routine a stumble on his triple axel.

“Although people said it’s a big lead (after the short program) you don’t need to put two quads in, I really wanted to do it because I’d been doing it in training and felt obligated to do it,” explained Chan.

“I wanted to show that it isn’t out of luck that you do well and I was able to put it out the way I wanted.”

Kozuka jumped from sixth to score 258.41 overall for his routine to Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 which included a quad jump and eight triples including two triple axels.

The Japanese champion picked up 180.79 points and totaled 258.41 points to win his first medal at the World Championships.

“I needed to bring good news back home and I did that with this silver medal,” said Kozuka of his first world medal.

“I went out there and put all my heart into it and the result came.”

Russia’s Artur Gachinski took the final podium spot at his first worlds as defending champion Takahashi slumped to fifth after stopping during his routine for several minutes to repair his boot.

Gachinski, 17, opened his program to “The Bolt” with a quadruple toeloop and followed up with seven triples to score 163.42 points as he moved up from fourth with 241.86 points.

“I can say, that my performance was almost perfect. I did my quad and two triple Axels. This is a big result for me,” Gachinski said.

In the pairs, Savchenko and Szolkowy posted a new record of 144.87 points in the free skate and another record total score of 217.85, beating the previous mark of 216.57 set by China’s Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo at the 2010 Olympics.

Voloszhar and Trankov’s “Romeo and Juliet” program earned them 140.38 points to move up from third to second with 210.73 points.

Tong struggled with his jumps in the Chinese pairs performance to “Liebestraum” as he touched the ice, singled an axel and doubled a toeloop.

The defending champions nevertheless scored a seasons best 130.12, but slipped to the bronze medal position with 204.12 points as they missed a chance for a third world title after 2006 and last year.

The competition continues on Friday with the ice dance short dance while defending champion Mao Asada of Japan and Olympic champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea headlining the women’s short program.
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