Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Skater Chan, Yan get ready for Sochi in Paris
PARIS -- Patrick Chan will get his first look at Chinese up-and-comer Yan Han at this weekend's Trophee Bompard, an intriguing matchup less than three months before the Sochi Olympics.
Chan has won the last three world titles, along with pretty much every other competition he's entered since the Vancouver Olympics. Han, the 2012 junior world champion, is in his first full season as a senior. But his victory at the Cup of China showed the 17-year-old is more than capable of holding his own against the big boys.
Other contenders include Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, European runner-up Florent Amodio of France, Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic and Jason Brown of the United States.
In the women's competition, two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner's hopes of defending her Trophee Bompard title got a boost when Kim Yu-na was forced to withdraw from both of her Grand Prix events with a foot injury. But Wagner will still have to contend with Russian phenom Anna Pogorilaya. The 15-year-old, the bronze medalist at last year's junior world championships, won in her senior Grand Prix debut two weeks ago at Cup of China.
Fellow Russian Adelina Sotnikova, who was second at Cup of China, also is competing in Paris.
In pairs, Olympic runners-up Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China will compete against world bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.
Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are favored to win their third title at Trophee Bompard, which would qualify them for next month's Grand Prix final. The top six skaters in each discipline qualify for the final, which is Dec. 5-8 in Fukuoka, Japan.
Trophee Bompard begins Friday with short programs and short dance.