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Patrick Chan takes men’s short program at Canadian championship

Patrick Chan performs in the men's short program at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Ottawa January 10, 2014.


The first notes of Back in Black began playing Friday night, and Kevin Reynolds started skating, but the rest of the song didn't go with him.

An unexpected technical glitch threw one of Canada's top skaters for a loop at the Canadian figure skating championships, but despite some early stumbles, he managed to skate well enough to stay in the hunt for a spot in Sochi.

Reynolds sits in third place after the short program with 78.28 points. Patrick Chan is in first with 89.12 points, and Liam Firus is second with 78.93 points. Behind Reynolds in fourth is Elladj Balde with 75.80 points.

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Canada has three spots available for Sochi in the men's event. The long program will be skated Saturday, and the Olympic team will be named Sunday.

Skaters were asked to provide three copies of their music for the championships - a primary version and two backups - but despite having those safeguards, problems with the sound system at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa forced Reynolds to abort his short program, drifting in circles around the ice to stay warm as officials scrambled to get the classic rock anthem playing again.

When Reynolds - known for being a talented jumper - got going a few minutes later, he fell on his first quad attempt, and then stumbled on his next jump. However, Reynolds refused to blame the music problems for his woes on the ice. Instead, he said a lack of competition time this season due to problems finding proper fitting skate boots, was likely the biggest culprit for his performance.

"I just didn't have the experience that would have been needed in order to have a perfect performance right off the bat here," Reynolds said. "But considering everything, I fought for everything and got my feet under me as the program went on. So I'm feeling actually pretty happy about this."

The points the 23-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C. received for the difficulty of his program helped make up for some of the points he lost on execution. The problems he faced in finding the right skate boots forced him to miss several dates on the Grand Prix circuit, he said.

"Had I had a couple of competitions under my belt, I'm sure [the music issue] wouldn't have really bothered me at all, because I would have had the experience of performing the program under a little bit of pressure."

Chan executed his most difficult jumps with apparent ease, but admitted he lost concentration on a triple Axel and a triple Lutz, which cost him.

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"I felt really, really great and then I kind of lost my train of thought… I just kind of relaxed because I thought it was over," Chan said.

Such small mental errors are the glitches he's trying to work out of his routines before Russia. Rather than come to the Canadian championships to relax, since he is not at risk of missing Sochi, he said he is focusing on fixing the "missing pieces."

"This is work for me," he said. "It's not purely just going out and having a blast. It's also a lot of last-minute tweaks, because my plan is to go to the Olympics and win them."

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