Patrick Chan wins silver medal at Sochi Games
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 14, 2014 1:56PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 14, 2014 10:58PM EST
SOCHI, Russia -- Canada's gold-medal drought in Olympic men's figure skating continues.
Yuzuru Hanyu won Japan's first gold medal in the event Friday night while three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Toronto finished second.
Neither man skated clean.
Not only did Hanyu fall on his opening jump, a quad salchow, but he also crashed on his third, a triple flip. That left plenty of room for Chan to skate through to the top of the podium, but he made three errors in a watered-down program.
Canada has never had an Olympic champion in men's singles, but Canadians have captured four silver and four bronze. The last Canadian Olympic medallist was Jeffrey Buttle who won bronze in Turin in 2006.
"There was a lot of pressure to win the gold for Canada, but I really wanted to do it for myself," said Chan, who will also go home with a silver in the team event. "Feeling the medal slip away was definitely a lingering thought. I'm disappointed, but life goes on."
Chan touched the ice on one jump as well as on another occasion to score 178.10, giving him a total score of 275.62.
Hanyu of Japan scored 178.64 for 280.09 points while Denis Ten of Kazakhstan won bronze with a total score of 255.10.
The final that was a two-man showdown between Hanyu, now the first Asian man to win an Olympic title, and Chan.
Neither performed close to his peak on a second consecutive night of competition. Most skaters appeared fatigued, particularly at the end of their 4 1-2-minute free skate routines. It was one of the sloppiest men's Olympic programs in memory.
Chan skated directly after Hanyu with a chance to do what such renowned Canadian men as Donald Jackson, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko and his own coach, Brian Orser, could not. But he wasn't sharp either, and the difference at the end was pretty much Hanyu's nearly 4-point margin carried over from Thursday's short program.
Hanyu, a 19-year-old who lives and trains in Toronto with coach Brian Orser, set a world short-program record the previous night of 101.45, making him the first man in history to break the 100-point barrier.
When the 19-year-old Hanyu finished, kneeling, he laid two hands on the ice for a long time, thinking he had blown it.
"I was so nervous and I was so tired," he said. "But I was surprised (to win). I was not happy with my program."
Orser told him not to fret, that the competition wasn't over. And when Chan came up short, as nearly every man did in the free skate, the gold was headed to Japan.
Asked if he thought he would win, Hanyu shook his head.
"No, I was so sad," he said.
But he was thrilled when the final results were posted, and he skated around the rink draped in a Japanese flag after the flower ceremony. Around the Iceberg rink were about two dozen banners supporting him and the Japanese team.
The 23-year-old Chan, from Toronto, trailed Hanyu by four points going into the long program.
Chan was fifth at the 2010 Vancouver Games but has since won the world championships three straight times while mastering the quad jump.
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., who was hampered by a poor short program, finished 15th with 222.23 points.