Press Release

Takahashi wins men's title; Virtue, Moir lead

Daisuke Takahashi won the first ever world title by a Japanese man.
Daisuke Takahashi won the first ever world title by a Japanese man. (Getty Images)

Tools

Related Content Press Releases
(03/26/2010) - The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2010 continued in Torino, Italy, on Thursday with the original dance and the men's free skate.

Virtue/Moir (CAN) defend lead in original dance
Olympic Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir defended their lead ahead of Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) in the original dance. European silver medalists Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali of Italy remained in third place before the final free dance.

Virtue/Moir put out a passionate Spanish Flamenco that was highlighted by precise footwork and a curve lift. The Canadians were awarded a Level 4 for the twizzles, the circular steps and the lift to earn a new seasons best score of 70.27 points (34.30 element score/35.97 program component score). Overall they now have 114.40 points.

"Tessa and I were very excited about our performance today, pretty pleased with where we brought the program the last two weeks. It was a very strong technical skate. I don't think we quite had the magic that we had at the Olympic Games, but we are very pleased with the performance," Moir said.

"Our job requires us to get in and out of character whether it's the free dance, the compulsory dances, the original dance. We worked a lot with this program off the ice, with Flamenco dancers that lived and trained in Spain. A lot of that passion that they taught us now comes from within," Virtue explained.

Davis/White once again entertained the crowd with their exotic Indian Dance and completed intricate steps, picking up a Level 4 for both step sequences and the twizzles. Their curve lift with changes of positions was a Level 4 as well, and the U.S. Champions scored a season's best with 69.29 points (34.10/35.19). Their score added up to 112.54 so far.

"I think we improved a little bit, we talked about using the Olympics as an experience that will help us to improve us as skaters and performers. And I think we just did that. We stepped it up a little bit as we did all we could, and obviously this is our season's best and we are very pleased. Definitely this is one of my favorite programs," White commented.

To the delight of the home crowd, Faiella/Scali had chosen a Italian Tarantella. They got a Level 4 for the side by side footwork and the lift, but the wobbly twizzles were only graded a level one. The Italians received 59.16 points (27.90/31.26) and accumulated 100.01 points so far.

"We made a mistake [on the twizzles] because we got too close each other. We tried all the time to improve and to do better, but this time we exaggerated and our bodies got too close. It is difficult to control the pressure with such a fantastic audience, but we have to learn to transform it into positive energy," Scali told the press.

Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) came in fourth with an upbeat American country dance, but he stepped out of a twizzle (96.30 points). Sinead Kerr/John Kerr (GBR) moved up one spot to fifth with a Scottish dance (95.79 points). Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski (RUS) slipped to sixth after a stumble in the circular footwork (91.98 points).

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) skates to gold
Daisuke Takahashi skated to the gold medal, becoming the first Japanese man to take that title. Canada's Patrick Chan claimed the silver medal and Brian Joubert of France earned the bronze, like they had last year.

Takahashi had drawn to skate last out of the 24 men and went for a quad flip right at the beginning of his playful and detailed routine to "La Strada." The jump was two-footed and downgraded, but nobody has yet landed a quadruple flip in competition up to date. The Olympic bronze medalist went on to reel off a triple Axel-double toe, a triple flip-triple toe and another triple Axel as well as three more triples. His three spins and both step sequences were graded a Level 4 and the Japanese picked up a seasons best of 168.40 points (81.90 element score/86.50 program component score). Overall he racked up a total of 257.70 points.

"I enjoyed a lot this time, because the audience was helping me. I didn't have big mistakes. It was very good. I'm proud to proud to be the first Japanese man to win a world title," Takahashi commented.

"I don't know why, but somehow I didn't feel pressure in this competition. I even missed Evan [Lysacek] and Stephane [Lambiel]. I was practicing the quad flip. It was more of a challenge-based competition for me and I really enjoyed that challenge."

Skating to The Phantom of the Opera, Chan nailed a triple flip-triple toe, a triple Axel as well as two more clean triples, but he went down on a triple loop and stepped out of the triple Salchow. The Canadian scored 159.42 points (78.02/82.40) and repeated as world silver medalist at 247.22 points.

"I think that this season was quite a challenge, today it's the silver medal, but I think that it's more gold medal for the effort I put into this season, coming out from the injury, having a bad Skate Canada's performance and disappointing Olympic performance as well. I was really happy how I performed here, how I kept it together till the end to the long program. It's just overall I was able to go out there and enjoy. I really enjoyed the each jump and element," Chan commented.

Joubert pulled off a quad-double toe loop and a solo quad toe loop and a triple Axel but fell on a triple Lutz. The Frenchman achieved new seasons best of 154.04 points and totaled 241.74 points to add a sixth World medal to his collection.

"I'm very happy with this competition in general, with the practices, the short program, the free program. I made some mistakes in the free, because I was a little bit tired, but I'm very happy, because I did two quads. I was confident. This was the main goal for me," Joubert said. "I'm very proud, because it was so difficult after the Olympic Games. I didn't know if I'm still able to compete like it was before. Now I have my answer. I know I can fight again. It's my 15th medal with Europeans and worlds, that's great."

Michal Brezina (CZE) was ranked third in the free skating with a strong performance that featured five clean triples and overall finished fourth at 236.06 points. Jeremy Abbott (USA) placed fifth. He missed a quad toe and a double Axel but hit eight triples (232.10 points). Adam Rippon (USA) came sixth in his world championship debut with 231.47 points.