Defiant Chan defends world win

LONDON, Ontario Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:11pm EDT

Gold medal winner Patrick Chan of Canada arrives for the presentation ceremony at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in London, March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

Gold medal winner Patrick Chan of Canada arrives for the presentation ceremony at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in London, March 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Thornhill

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LONDON, Ontario (Reuters) - A day after claiming a third consecutive figure skating world championship, Patrick Chan was still profusely apologizing on Saturday for his performance but the defiant Canadian was making no apologies for the win.

With figure skating's credibility under ever-intensifying scrutiny, Chan sparked yet another judging controversy when he took the men's title with a sloppy free skate that in the eyes of many was not medal worthy performance.

Chan landed on his backside twice, botched his three jump combination and made other errors but still did enough in the judges' estimation to keep Denis Ten, an unknown but engaging young skater from Kazakhstan, from taking top spot on the podium.

"I deserved it," declared Chan. "It's totally understandable that people have their doubts.

"You look at hockey it's really simple, you score one more goal than the other team. Figure skating is a little more subjective.

"But I would keep telling people I deserved it and would more than love to explain why."

Chan rightly pointed out that competition also includes a short skate, which he performed brilliantly, posting a world record score to secure a whopping lead of almost seven points going into the free skate.

Still, the 22-year-old Canadian's win was savaged by media covering the championships and blasted by some of his fellow skaters on social media.

"No disrespect to Patrick but a skater shouldn't be able to fall twice & get such high PCS," tweeted former U.S. and world champion Todd Eldredge.

"Seriously?" questioned flamboyant former U.S. national champion Johnny Weir in a tweet.

A six-time national champion, Chan's wins have been aided by what have become known in skating circles as "Chanflation", his marks inflated by his reputation and world champion credentials.

Critics see the results as more evidence that the old biases that have damaged figure skating's popularity remain entrenched more than a decade after the Salt Lake Olympic judging scandal exposed the seedy underbelly of the sport, forcing a revamp of the scoring system.

"I think people forget it is a two part event," defended Chan. "It wasn't a gift, they (judges) didn't give it me yesterday. I worked hard and did the best I could.

'It was wide open for anyone to take it.

"I came second in the long program so obviously other skaters didn't skate as well either. I think it was about who makes the least mistakes in the week."

(Editing by Gene Cherry)

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Comments (1)
nomadictribe wrote:
Of course Chan will defend himself. But this is already too much of mere bias. This is cheating at its most terrible figure. I wonder how much money or some other form of incentives is brought on the table. The same thing happened last year when judges cheated for him to edge Daisuke. Now, its the poor upstart Ten who is the victim. Who’s next? How on earth could he have scored 9.11 on “skating skills” under PCS – highest over everyone by a good margin, after falling 2x (one of which, the 3Axel was even under-rotated), flubbing a 3lutz into a double and stepping out quite remarkably on his 3sal?? His “performance and execution” score was also inflated to 8.61 – over a point ahead of Hanyu (3rd in LP) who never put a foot wrong in his prog except for the slight under-rotation on his 4Sal and an edge call on his 3F.

Mar 16, 2013 10:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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