(November 14, 2009 - LAKE PLACID, N.Y.) – Shawn Sawyer of Edmunston, N.B., landed his eighth jumps and showed amazing flexibility to win the silver medal on Saturday in men’s singles at Skate America, the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Evan Lysacek of the U.S., the last skater of the competition, took the gold with 237.72 points, Sawyer, fifth after the short program, followed at 203.91 for his first career Grand Prix medal. Ryan Bradley of the U.S., eighth after the short, climbed to third finishing with 197.58.
“I’m very pleased,” said Sawyer, 24, a 2006 Olympian. “I made some small errors but this is not the time of the year yet to be perfect. This skate showed me I am headed in the right direction. I was very pleased with my jumps. I landed them all, I didn’t open up on any of them, there was only one I did an extra turn when I landed.”
Sawyer was also pleased with his component marks.
“My flexibility really helps me stand out from the competition,” he said. “It’s something I really want to capitalize on and I know the fans really like it as well. I’m always trying to find new unique moves that can help me.”
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., also made a big leap in the standings climbing from 10th to 6th overall with the fifth best free skate. He landed a quad Salchow and earned the second best technical marks of the day.
In pairs, Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Craig Buntin of Kelowna, B.C., withdrew from the competition after Duhamel fell heavily on a throw triple loop attempt banging her shoulder and then her head on the ice during the long program.
Canadian team manager Louis Stong said doctors suspect Duhamel has a concussion from the fall. She also injured her ankle, initially in the warm-up when the same throw triple loop was not completed successfully during the long program. Doctors will re-evaluate the ankle on Sunday.
Two-time world champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China won the gold medal while Tatiana Volosozahar and Stanislav Morozov of Ukraine were a distant second.
Competition ends Sunday with the free dance and women’s long programs. There are no Canadians entered in either event. The next stop on the circuit is the 2009 Home Sense Skate Canada International Friday to Sunday (November 20-22) in Kitchener, Ont.
All ISU Grand Prix events are being carried live www.skatebuzz.com
For more information visit: www.isu.org