COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Not even an early stumble could derail reigning World Champion Patrick Chan at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Thursday night.
Chan failed to land his first jump cleanly, touching both hands to the ice, but rebounded to win the men's short program at his "home ice" at the World Arena.
The Toronto native claimed the program with a score of 87.95 points despite the miscue, with Japan's Takahito Mura finishing second with a mark of 83.44.
"I was very happy with how I was able to gather myself, and I've been really good at doing that this year," said the 21-year-old Chan. "I saw this as a challenge and a test, and I was able to get the best with what I had."
Chan, who trains in Colorado Springs, said the ice felt different than in recent practice sessions and that contributed to his hiccup.
"They changed the ice, and the temperature was a little different. I could feel it," said Chan, who won gold at the 2009 Four Continents Championships. "I was on it last Friday, a week ago, and it feels different than then. So, little things like that change things, and that's why it makes it feel a little bit foreign.
"It really makes me feel like I'm at an international competition and not at home."
Chan said he didn't feel at ease during the warm-up session, either.
"The six-minute warm-up was a little shaky," he said. "I was having trouble finding my feet and staying grounded. I was getting high in the shoulders and tight in my upper body, so my jumps weren't as poppy."
Vancouver Olympics bronze medallist and defending Four Continents champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan fell on his first jump and settled for third (82.59).
Ross Miner, the 2012 U.S. bronze medallist , was sixth (76.89) and has his sights set on the men's free skate on Friday.
"I thought it was a good start, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow," Miner said. "I had a little bit of a bobble going into my triple flip, but I still did a really good one. It's important to compete internationally and show people what I can do. It's also an opportunity to increase my world ranking and season-best score."
Adam Rippon, the 2012 U.S. silver medallist and 2010 Four Continents champion, was relegated to seventh place (74.92) after falling on his third jump.
"It was a really hard turnaround from nationals to here," Rippon said. "The lutz was such a silly mistake, and I never make it. If I had to choose where I was going to make that mistake, I would rather it be at Four Continents than at the national championships or the world championships.
"I'm not even affected by the mistake, and I know what I need to do tomorrow to skate well."
The field for the four-day competition includes six Olympic and World medallists and consists of 102 athletes from 17 countries.