Figure Skating

Evgenia Medvedeva blows out as Shoma Uno toils at Skate Canada

A testing day for the Olympic silver medallists with former world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Keegan Messing shining in Quebec.

In the kiss and cry, Evgenia Medvedeva just wanted to cry.

And made a gesture that said it all.

The PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist put two begloved fingers to her head in the shape of a gun and pulled the trigger.

"Ugh" was the most new coach Brian Orser could muster.

Medvedeva's first Grand Prix appearance since joining Orser's stable in Toronto did not go to plan.

Having failed to cleanly land her opening triple Lutz, the 18-year-old's short programme fell apart when she grazed her knee on the ice and put her hand down on a triple flip, the first jump of a planned combination.

Medvedeva was heavily penalised and finished on seventh place with 60.83 points, a long way behind fellow Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva who leads the way in Laval, Quebec with 74.22.

Tuktamysheva lays down marker

Most of the pre-season buzz concerned the two former Russian training partners, Medvedeva and Olympic champion Alina Zagitova.

But there is now another Russian in the mix in the shape of 2015 world champion Tuktamysheva.

Once destined for greatness, Tuktamysheva faded as Medvedeva appeared, winning every major competition in 2016 and 2017.

That kind of domination had not been seen since the days of Katerina Witt, before Zagitova came along suddenly to take gold at PyeongChang aged just 15.

Now 16, Zagitova makes her seasonal Grand Prix debut in Helsinki next weekend having posting huge scores to win at last month's Nebelhorn Trophy.

All eyes were on Medvedeva, but it was her predecessor as world champion who took the plaudits.

Tuktamysheva did not qualify for the Russian team in PyeongChang but she has started 2018 well with victories in two Challenger competitions, September's Lombardia Trophy and the Finlandia Trophy earlier this month.

And her career may be about to catch fire again as she landed her first perfectly executed triple Axel in competition since 2015 to head the field at Skate Canada.

Uno crash leaves him second

Like Medvedeva, another PyeongChang silver medallist, Shoma Uno failed to live up to expectations.

The Japanese headliner crashed into the boards on a triple Axel and trails Canada's Keegan Messing who electrified the fans on home ice.

Disappointment and regret, those are the emotions about my performance - Shoma Uno

"It is not about me taking a high risk, I just can’t do triples," added Uno, who is still in contention going into Saturday's free skate.

Keegan Messing above the clouds

Messing is having the time of his life, having proposed to his fiance on top of an Alaskan mountain earlier this week.

She said yes, and so did he after he pulled off a career-best performance including a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination.

Skating to 'You've Got a Friend in Me' from the movie 'Toy Story', Messing was clean throughout for a short programme score of 95.05 points.

I'm above the clouds - Keegan Messing

Messing finished 12th at PyeongChang but has a great chance to secure his first major international victory.

The 26-year-old was born in Alaska but switched allegiance from the United States to Canada in 2014.

He holds a 6.18 point lead over Uno with South Korean teen Jun Hwan Cha, who trains in Toronto with Medvedeva under Orser, a further 0.01 behind.

Ice Dance

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue practically booked their tickets to December’s Grand Prix Final when they became the first couple to score above 80 points in a rhythm dance this season.

Hubbell and Donohue won Skate America last week, and the American champions and world silver medalists look on course for a strong season.


French duo Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès were tipped for great things by Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir when they previewed the 2018 skate season before the Skate America season opener.

And, right on cue, the pair posted the best short programme score so far this season at Skate Canada — 74.51.

Chinese pair Peng Cheng and Jin Yang also put in an impressive performance and trail James and Ciprès by just 2.51 points.