Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Osmond and Daleman among Leaders after World Skating Short Program

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Osmond and Daleman among Leaders after World Skating Short Program

Article excerpt

Canadian women in mix at world championship

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HELSINKI - There were times over the past two seasons when Kaetlyn Osmond didn't know if she would ever be able to skate again. Or if she even wanted to.

Now, the 21-year-old from Marystown, N.L., sits a mere three points behind defending champion Evgenia Medvedeva, and appears poised to capture Canada's first medal in women's singles at the world figure skating championships since Joannie Rochette won silver in 2009.

And if not Osmond? Fellow Canadian Gabrielle Daleman is right behind her.

Osmond roared to a second-place finish in the short program Wednesday, while Daleman finished third, superb results for Canadian women who have long skated in the shadow of the country's male stars. It's the first time Canada has had two women in the top three of the world short program.

"I was just loving every minute of it and completely in the moment," Osmond said. "I know how to deal a little bit more with the excitement, and hopefully I can just stay that way for the long (program)."

It wasn't as good a day for Canada's pairs skaters, with two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford struggling to a surprise seventh after the short program.

Osmond missed a season and a half after snapping her fibula in her right leg in two places when she swerved to avoid someone in practice in September 2014. The gruesome X-rays shows the bones bent sideways like broken toothpicks. She underwent two surgeries, and then embarked on a comeback that was both arduous and rattling to her confidence.

"I think she was at a very low point with her confidence," said her longtime coach Ravi Walia. "I think she was questioning whether she could come back and whether she wanted to come back, and I think she was afraid."

On Wednesday, before a raucous crowd at Hartwell Arena that included several dozen Canadian flags, she was fierce and fearless in her first world appearance since 2014.

Skating to Edith Piaf's "Sous le ciel de Paris" and "Milord," and dressed in a glamorous black dress and black gloves, a black scarf tied jauntily at her throat, Osmond reeled off a triple flip and triple toe loop combination to open. With the crowd clapping along to her music, she went on to land a triple Lutz and double Axel en route in a clean program worth 75.98 points.

"It feels incredible," she said through a wide smile. "I was just happy to skate the way I did. Just knowing that I'm up in second now, it just feels incredible.

"This program, I just feel so comfortable and confident doing it," she added. "It's an amazing character, confident character. That gives me confidence on the ice. I find the crowd reacts really well to it, which gives me a lot of energy while I'm skating."

Medvedeva, the latest in a long line of Russia stars, scored 79.01 points, edging Osmond on both the technical score and all five of the component (formerly artistic impression) marks. …

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