Reynolds stands first in men’s singles, Canada 1-2 in ice dancing

(January 28, 2010 - JEONJU CITY, South Korea) – Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Craig Buntin of Kelowna, B.C., won the bronze medal in pairs on Thursday at the ISU Four Continents figure skating championships.

Olympic silver medallists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang took the gold with 192.22 points, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker of the U.S., were second at 170.17 and Duhamel and Buntin third at 158.02, one spot better than the result they posted at these championships last year.

The Canadian medallists admitted it wasn’t one of their best competitions as they struggled with the throw Lutz and also slipped on a lift on Thursday. The pair has experienced injury trouble over the past couple of seasons.  Buntin injured his shoulder in 2008 and Duhamel suffered a knee and back injury this fall on the Grand Prix circuit.

“We made a few big mistakes and we are disappointed with our showing,” said Buntin.  “The throw Lutz was the first time we attempted it in awhile and unfortunately we missed it.  But we are proud of the fact that we fought through the whole thing.  The speed was very good and the performance was as good as it could have been.”

Mylène Brodeur of Stanbridge-Station, Que., and John Mattatall of Wallace, N.S., were seventh and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto ninth.

In men’s singles, Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., brought the house down with a spectacular short program, bettering his personal best by 14 points with a 81.60 score.  Nan Song of China is second at 72.95 and Brandon Mroz of the U.S., third at 70.00.

Reynolds nailed his three key jumps including the quadruple Salchow- triple toe combination to open the jazzy program.  He followed quickly with solid a triple Axel and triple Lutz.

“This is the first time everything came together with the jumps,” said Reynolds, 19, third at the Canadian championships earlier this month.  “I had a really good practice this morning and didn’t miss anything so that gave me a lot of confidence.  That is something that had been missing this year.  I approached the jumps with more speed and less caution. I’m really happy with how I skated.

Shawn Sawyer of Edmunston, N.B., is 10th and Joey Russell of Labrador, Nfld., 12th out of 27 entries.

Kaitlin Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., posted the top score in Thursday’s original dance to remain first overall in the ice dance competition.

Weaver and Poje head to Friday’s free dance with 81.09 points followed by compatriots Allie Hann-McCurdy of Nanaimo, B.C., and Michael Coreno of Delhi, Ont., in second at 78.10.  Xintong Huang and Xun Zheng of China are third at 77.33.

“It was not anywhere near our strongest performance,” said Poje.  “We had problems on the technical side but we were pleased with our expression which was one thing we wanted to improve upon from the compulsory dance.  Now we just want to put it all together for the free dance.”

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill of Toronto are eighth out of 12 couples.

Competition continues Friday with the finals in ice dancing and women’s singles.  The men’s final is on Saturday.

The competition is being carried live at  and CBC Bold.

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