(December 16, 2005)
Jeffrey Buttle got off to a strong start at this weekend's ISU Grand Prix Final.
Buttle, the 2005 Canadian Champion and world silver medallist, is in second-place following the men's short program at the Final in Tokyo, Japan. He trails only Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel, the 2005 world champion.
After opening his program with a solid triple flip-triple toe loop combination, Buttle went on to complete a strong triple Axel and a triple Lutz. He also wowed the crowd with his quick footwork and entertaining program to Louis Prima's Sing, Sing, Sing.
The judges awarded Buttle with 39.10 points for technical elements and 36.90 points for program components, which gave him a total segment score of 76.00. His personal best score to date in the short program is 77.39 points, which he earned in the short program at the 2005 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Emanuel Sandhu, a three-time Canadian Champion and current Canadian silver medallist, fought through his program. Sandhu, who won the ISU Grand Prix Final two years ago, fell on his opening quadruple toe loop and didn't fully rotate his triple Axel. His technical elements score of 23.56 combined with his program components score of 35.30 gave him an overall total of 57.86 points for the short program. He currently stands in fifth heading into the free skate.
Lambiel was outstanding in his short program. His program was highlighted by a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a solid triple Axel. Lambiel's total of 80.60 (44.30/36.30) put him in first-place heading into tomorrow's free skate.
Japan's Daisuke Takahashi was third with a score of 74.60.
In the ice dance event, Canada's Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon skated a good original dance to stand third. Dubreuil and Lauzon's performance was highlighted by their outstanding lifts. They had one small wobble on the last twizzle in their midline step sequence.
Their scores of 26.60 for technical elements and 28.82 for program components combined for a total of 55.42.
Two-time world champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, of Russia, are in first after the original dance with a total of 63.01 points. Currently in second are 2005 world bronze medallists Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov, of Ukraine. They earned a total of 58.84 points for their original dance.
The ISU Grand Prix Final wraps up tomorrow with all the event finals.