Figure Skating

Pete Evans - Friday Feb. 14, 2014 04:32 ET

Patrick Chan takes silver in men's figure skating

Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu wins gold

Patrick Chan takes silver in figure skating
Patrick Chan reacts after completing his free skate, which earned him a silver medal in Sochi. (David Gray/Reuters)
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Patrick Chan took the silver medal in men's figure skating behind his Japanese rival, 19-year-old phenom Yuzuru Hanyu in Sochi on Friday.

Hanyu fell on his first jump and scored 178.64. Three-time and reigning world champion Chan skated next and also stumbled on jumps, posting a score of 178.10.

Hanyu had been leading after a world-record performance in the short program on Thursday. So Friday's scores gave Hanyu a five-point lead overall on Chan, enough to take the gold medal.

Neither Japan nor Canada has ever won the gold medal in men's singles figure skating. The bronze medal went to Kazakh skater and world silver medallist Denis Ten. 

"I just made one too many errors," Chan told CBC after his performance. "I had that chance and I'm disappointed I didn't grasp it."

Canada now has 11 medals in Sochi

Canada missed the podium in men's singles in Vancouver, so this is Canada's first medal in the event since Jeffrey Buttle won bronze in Turin in 2006.

Canada now has nine medals all-time in figure skating, second-most of any country. But that men's singles gold still proves elusive.

Hanyu put in an almost flawless performance in the short, so few expected it when he flubbed his first jump, a quad Salchow, and also crashed on his third, a triple flip.

After those errors, the door was open to Chan, who holds the world record in the long program, to take the gold.

Chan, skating to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons started his performance by nailing the first two jumps — a quad-triple combination that is a staple of his routine. He then stumbled on his third and fourth jumps and before regaining his form.

"I guess all Canadians say sorry, but I'm sorry," Chan said. "I gave it my all in this program, I swear."

When the scores were tallied up, Hanyu's score of 280 beat Chan's 275 overall, and both men were able to stay ahead of the two skaters who came after them. 

"I was so tired before the first [triple] Axel," Hanyu told CBC after his performance. "I couldn't [make] clean jumps."

Other skaters

Hanyu is the first Asian man to win Olympic gold in the event. His teammates Tatsuki Machida and Daisuke Takahashi came in fifth and sixth, so with three of the top six slots it was a strong showing overall for Japan — a nation that had never made the podium in the men's event until Takahashi's bronze in Vancouver.

Spanish skater Javier Fernandez was hoping to become the first person from his country to win an Olympic medal in an ice sport, but it was not to be, as he came in fourth place.

Fernandez spontaneously added a triple Salchow to his routine to try to score more points. But he didn't put it into a combination, so that ended up costing him valuable points. He finished less than two points behind bronze medallist Ten's score of 255.10.

Another Canadian skater, Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., also skated Friday and came in 15th place overall after delivering a solid score of 153.47. That's not as high as the score of 167.92 he was awarded when he did his free skate in the team event last week, but Reynolds looked much more confident on Friday than he did Thursday, when he flubbed two jumps and fell to the ice.

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