Ten claims Four Continents men’s title

AP, Kyodo

Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten won the men’s event Saturday at the Four Continents figure skating competition, landing most of his big jumps in a dominating performance.

The Kazakh skater, who started his routine with a quad toe loop and a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination, finished with 289.46 points, well ahead of American Joshua Farris in second place. Ten, 21, skated to Ambush from Ten Sides.

Ten, who is ethnically Korean, had little trouble maintaining his commanding lead after Thursday’s short program. He collapsed after the free skate Saturday, resting his head on the ice and then rolling onto his back while the crowd cheered.

Farris, the 2013 world junior champion, rallied from fifth place after the short program for silver. His jumps included a quad toe loop and a triple lutz-double toe loop combination. The 20-year-old skated to music from Schindler’s List.

China’s Yan Han was third after the short program and finished with the bronze medal. The 18-year-old Yan skated to Fly Me to the Moon by Bart Howard.

Japan was forced to settle for Daisuke Murakami’s fourth-place finish.

Shoma Uno, the reigning Junior Grand Prix champion, was in second place after Thursday’s short program, but was fifth in the free skate and finished the competition in fifth. Defending champion Takahito Mura, who was fourth after the short program, finished seventh.

“I don’t quite understand it myself, but since I arrived here my form has been getting worse little by little,” Uno said. “More than my finish and more than my score, what gets me is that I wasn’t able to skate the way I’m accustomed to.”

Murakami finished with 256.47 to edge out Uno (256.45) for fourth place by the narrowest of margins.

“The championship was my target, so it’s very frustrating to realize that even a flawless performance isn’t enough to reach the medal podium,” Murakami said. “I’m not going to forget how this feels and want to take it with me in my next competition.”

The Sochi Olympics gold and silver medalists, Yuzuru Hanyu and Canada’s Patrick Chan, didn’t compete in Seoul. Hanyu is injured, while Chan is taking time off.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada won the pairs competition — their second Four Continents win — with 219.48 points.

“We definitely feel confident from this competition, but we have room to improve a lot before the world championships,” Duhamel said.

China’s Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao were second with 201.45, edging compatriots Pang Qing and Tong Jian with 199.99. Tong and Pang, five-time Four Continents champions, are both aged 35 and the oldest male and female skaters in the competition.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day, Duhamel and Zhang made a heart shape with their arms as they sat side by side during the post-skate news conference, delighting a group of fans watching them through glass doors.