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Patrick Chan captures men’s gold at World Skating Championships

NICE, FRANCE (AP) – Patrick Chan of Canada captured the men’s title second straight year despite a flawed free skate that included a late tumble. He is the first man to win consecutive titles since the now retired Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland in 2006.

”It’s more special than the first to be honest. I had my doubts,” Chan said. ”I think I kind of made it over the hump now. I think the world championships were harder for me this year,” Chan said. ”My quads were on a roll last year. I’ve had to work harder this season, work through it.”

Some of the crowd jeered when Chan won, perhaps because of his errors and Takahashi’s superb performance. Chan had an overall score of 266.11 points to 259.66 for Takahashi and 251.06 for Hanyu. Chan was deducted one point for going over his allotted time on the ice. He also lost a point after falling on his double axel, a jump where he could have picked up more than 3 1/2 points for completing it in the second half of his program.

”I felt like I had won, anyway, I skated smart this week,” Chan said. ”I made sure the little details added up and I still ended up on top.”

Wearing a dark red shirt and black trousers, Chan’s elegance hushed the crowd into total awe, with only the whispers of his gliding edges breaking the silence. Every jump was pure, every landing clean, until Chan wobbled coming out of a triple lutz. ”On the highlight reel it’s not going to look great,” Chan said. ”It shows that I’m human, right?” Heading into a double axel, his final jump, he pulled out of it and fell over. He twice lost his balance in Friday’s short and on Saturday did enough in the early part of his routine to avoid an upset result.

The five-time Canadian champion has won every event he’s entered this season: Skate Canada, the Trophee Bompard, the Four Continents, and a second straight Grand Prix final. Chan placed fifth behind Lambiel at the 2010 Olympics in a season beset by injuries and a coaching change shortly before those Vancouver Games. Now his sights are set on Sochi in two years.

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