Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan could make it a three-peat tonight in London and join compatriot Kurt Browning as a thrice world champ.
The world record holder in the short program has a commanding lead heading into the free skate at the world championships.
It’s distinguished territory he’s entering. Browning held the world title from 1989 to 1991. He won again in 1993.
“I’m giving myself the mental notes to prepare myself for the long program,” Chan said. “I’m thinking about the marathon I’m going to run.”
After his out-of-this-world skate Wednesday, Chan was worn out.
“When you give it your all you tend to pay the price the next day…mentally and physically,” he said, but he had a day to recover.
Even though Chan received a stunning 98.37, he said his jumps felt off. “You tend to be very critical of yourself.”
Chan, 22, said he has been doing more anaerobic workouts as he experienced lactic acid build up in his leg muscles during nationals preparation.
He was feeling that burn after only one minute into his program and the quad jump was taking a lot out of him. “Guys with bigger muscles tend to produce more lactic acid.”
He said the anaerobic activity has worked well. “It really helped and extended my tolerance for lactic acid build up. Instead of fearing the pain, I would be OK. Your body can do amazing things. In competition mode, it can do the unimaginable.”
Second-place skater Denis Ten, 19, of Kazakhstan, was taking in the full experience of the world championships.
He seemed calm and in a good place mentally heading into the free skate. His short score is 91.56.
“My coach is saying I’m already ready enough to skate with the top guys and be on the same level. We’ve been practising hard.”
Ten said as a child he would watch videos of skaters of the past. “It was always my dream to take all of the best ones and put them into one person.”
Denis Ten of Kazakhstan talks to reporters after practice.