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2013 Four Continents Championships

Kevin Reynolds Give Strong Free Skate Performance to Capture Men's Title

 by Kitty Hu





(10 February 2013)   The 2013 Four Continents Men's event finished on February 9th here in Osaka, Japan.  Kevin Reynolds came from 6th place after the short program to win his first ISU championship.  Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan and Han Yan from China finished after him to win the silver and bronze medals.

Kevin Reynolds showed a very strong program with 3 quad jumps: a quad Salchow at the very beginning, a quad toe loop - triple toe loop combination coming after that, and a quad toe loop at the second half of the program.  He scored 172.21 points for his personal best .

Reynolds is a very good jumper, he is the first skater to successfully do 2 kinds of quad jumps in a short program at ISU competition.  Yesterday Reynolds also tried two quads in the short, but both of them were under-rotated.  This season, some of the men have tried to put 3 quad in the long program.  Javier Fernandez from Spain has succeeded already, and now Reynolds has also.

This is Reynoldsís first ISU championship gold medal, and he was very satisfied with his performance today.  "I am surprised that I almost did the best performance in the short and free program as well.  I am happy especially because in the short my quad was under-rotated, so I finisher 6th.  Before going into the long, I had thought that if I could do my jumps maybe I could get a medal or something like that, but the gold medal is really beyond my expectation. This gold will give me more confidence going into Worlds held in my own country," he said.

Yuzuru Hanyu did his first quad in the long very beautifully, this jump got him 2.14 GoE points, but after that he doubled his quad Salchow, singled a Lutz in the second half, his second triple Axel combination didnít go well, and the triple flip was marked with an edge error. 158.73 points placed him third in the free skating, and his total of 246.38 points placed him 2nd in the event.

The new Japanese Champion went to this Four Continents with very big ambition but he did not give his best performance this time.

 "Obviously today is not my day," he said.  "I was very disappointed by my performance today, but I also feel relief now, because I finished the competition.  I made mistakes, and am disappointed with my program, but I did not lose my confidence.  There are several weeks to go to the World Championship.  I will work hard on my jumps as well as other elements with my coach,í said Hanyu.

Han Yan skated a very smooth program except for a fall on his quad attempt, which was under-rotated.  But he land a triple Axel - triple toe loop combination, a triple flip, a triple Lutz - double toe combination, a triple flip - double toe loop - double loop combination, a triple Lutz, and a triple Salchow.  A triple loop in the second half was stepped out of.  His score was a personal best of 150.14 points, and a total of 235.22 points placed him 3rd in the event.

The World Junior Champion felt satisfied with his senior debut.  "I just came here for experience, so I didnít put the ranking first.  But I feel very pleased with the way I went in this Four Continent Championships.  I donít know whether I should I go to the Worlds or the World Junior Championships.  It depends on the federation," he said.

As an ISU senior event rookie, Max Aaron really did a good job in this Four Continents.  Obviously wining the U.S. Championship gave him more confidence to go into this kind of big event.  Both his Salchows in solo and the combination were landed smoothly and he also landed his two triple Axels.  There was only a small flaw on the double Axel - single loop - triple Salchow combination and an edge call on the flip.  His 162.19 points for the free skating and 234.65 points total made his personal best.

 "It w as a great championship for me, especially before going to my first World Championship," Arron said.  "It's a very important experience here. It let me know how to compete in a senior level."  With a second place finish in the free skate Aaron moved up to fourth place overall.

Richard Dornbush complete his free skating with some flaws.  He land a quad toe loop - double toe loop combination, and then lost balance when landing his second quad toe loop with two hand down on the ice.  Then he land his triple Axel smoothly and a tano triple Lutz - triple toe.  He singled a Axel jump, landed a triple loop, a triple flip and a triple Salchow with one hand touch down.  151.03 points placed him 4th in the free, and 234.04 total points put him 5th in total.

 ĎI made some mistake in my free because it was such a pressure to skate first in the last group, but I still feel happy to be here.  For the next season, I want to stay healthy through the season and then level up my jumps and skating,í he said.

Nan Song from China skated under a unique pressure for he was the last one of the Menís competition.  He did not succeed in controlling his nervous through the program, and seemed a little tight with his performance.  The beginning quad toe had one hand touch down, but he land the quad combination after that, then a triple Axel with one hand touch down.   His jumps did not get many plus GoEs today, and his 147.30 points for the free placed him 6th both in the free skating and in total score.

 ĎI knew that my free was not the best performance today, but I did what I could do at this point.  My season hasn't gone well before.  I struggled with illness and injuries, but I did not lose my confidence.  I still believe I can come back and show my best performance to the judges and the audience,í he explained.

Daisuke Takahashi maybe the most disappointed one tonight.  He missed five of the seven jumps in his long program, and four of them were under-rotated. 140.15 points placed him 8th in free, and his total score of 222.77 points gave him a 7th place finish.

U.S. skater Ross Miner finished 9th with 214.36 in this championship.  He singled his quad Salchow and a triple Axel, but the other five jumps were finely landed.  140.35 points placed him 7th in free.

"I am disappointed with my performance today because I could not do like I did in the practice.  The U.S. nationals just finished 2 weeks ago.  Maybe I need more time to adjust myself to this event.í he said.

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