Javier Fernández López continues skating his way into the history books…
Following his strong performance in the short program, which put him in the lead, the 21-year-old Spanish figure skater upset two-time world champion Patrick Chan in his own country this weekend to win the Skate Canada men’s title.
Fernández, whose silver at Skate Canada last year was the first Grand Prix medal for a Spanish skater, finished with 253.94 points. His score was an impressive 10 points better than Chan, who had won the previous three Skate Canada titles. Nobunari Oda of Japan was third with 238.34 points.
“It was my first gold internationally, so it just feels amazing,” said Fernández, who one-upped his history-making performance one year ago to become the first Spanish skater to win a Grand Prix gold medal. “It’s not about Patrick, it’s about all the skaters. Patrick is still Patrick. He’s a star. Of course he could have skated better. But it’s only one competition, there’s a lot of competitions in this year.”
After falling on his opening triple toe, which was planned as a quad toe, Fernández rallied and hit everything else in his program, including a quad salchow and the second attempt of his quad toe. Generally weaker in the later stages of his free skate, he kept going strong through his free skate, hitting six clean triples to complement the two quads he landed. The judges rewarded him with a 253.94 and the gold.
Coached by Canadians Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, Fernández’s Charlie Chaplin-themed short program was choreographed by David Wilson.
Chan, second after the short program, could not rival Fernández’s firepower. Though he opened brilliantly with a quad toe-double toe, he put his hand down on his second quad and made mistakes on his triple axel and second triple lutz. Chan maintained his second place standing, comforted by a step-up from his poor start at the Japan Open a few weeks ago.