Chan, Rochette give Canada double Trophee Bompard win
PARIS -- Teenager Patrick Chan won his second Grand Prix skating title and Joannie Rochette held off defending champion Mao Asada to give Canada a double victory Saturday at the Trophee Bompard.
The 17-year-old Chan placed first in the free skate to finish ahead of Japan's Takahiko Kozuka and France's Alban Preaubert.
Rochette won with a nearly faultless performance except for a slight spill on the final jump. An elegant performance by 15-year-old Caroline Zhang of the United States earned her third place and rapturous applause.
Chan and Rochette are unbeaten in Grand Prix events this season, having won at Skate Canada this month. Rochette said her work with a psychologist has helped her feel more serene.
"My goal was at the start of the year was to go on the ice without feeling any nerves and feel calm out there," the 22-year-old Rochette said.
Asada, the 18-year-old world champion from Japan, tired toward the end and fell after a triple salchow. After that, she appeared to struggle for rhythm and left the ice with her head down and hands on her hips.
In pairs, world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won the free skate to clinch the title ahead of Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov of Russia. The Germans had also won at Skate America last month.
Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin, who needed stitches to his right hand after being cut by a skate, finished third.
"Unfortunately, I kicked him with my heel or toe pick," Duhamel said. "It was a pretty scary moment."
In ice dance, world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France won the free program, adding this title to the Skate America trophy they won last month.
Italians Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali were second, followed by British siblings Sinead Kerr and John Kerr.
Chan had stumbled on successive jumps -- a triple axel-double toe loop combination and a triple salchow -- but his performance to "Selection of Music" by Sergei Rachmaninov was otherwise smooth.
"I feel really good with the way I skated, even though I made two mistakes. I didn't feel too loose or too tight," Chan said. "Just to see I was in first place after the free skate was a big, big relief."
"It wasn't too bad, actually, otherwise we wouldn't have a higher score than Skate America," Szolkowy said. "But there's still a lot of room for improvement."
Former world champion Brian Joubert fell twice during his program and the Frenchman dropped to fourth.
"I really wanted to win here especially after missing out last year," Joubert said. "I have to learn from this and find out what I need to do to bounce back. I've had setbacks before in my career, but have always found a way to come back."
The Trophee Bompard is the fourth of six figure skating events in the ISU Grand Prix, with Moscow and Tokyo to follow. Skaters collect points toward a place in the Grand Prix final in Seoul, South Korea, next month, but only two events count for each skater.
Joubert won the Trophee Bompard in 2006 but missed it last year because of a virus. He is determined to bounce back next week.
"I will be in a totally different frame of mind," Joubert said. "There will be less stress and less nerves."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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