Dale­man leads wins short pro­gram day af­ter pneu­mo­nia di­ag­no­sis

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - LORI EWING THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

VAN­COU­VER — A day af­ter she was di­ag­nosed with pneu­mo­nia, Gabrielle Dale­man won the women’s short pro­gram Fri­day at the Cana­dian fig­ure skat­ing cham­pi­onships.

Skat­ing to a French ren­di­tion of Car­men, the world bronze medal­list scored 77.88 points to take a six­point lead over Kaet­lyn Os­mond into Satur­day’s free pro­gram.

“I am just most proud of how I’ve han­dled ev­ery­thing, I didn’t find out how sick I was (un­til Thurs­day), I just knew I couldn’t breathe prop­erly,” said Dale­man, who saw the Cana­dian team doc­tor af­ter Thurs­day’s prac­tice.

Dale­man opened with a tripletriple com­bi­na­tion on her way to a clean pro­gram, throw­ing two cel­e­bra­tory hands in the air when she fin­ished.

“(Pneu­mo­nia) sounds bad, and it kinda is, be­cause you can’t breathe. But I look at it as ex­tra car­dio train­ing,” Dale­man said, laugh­ing. “My friends were say­ing ‘How are you go­ing to deal with this?’ and I was send­ing them laugh­ing em­ogis, like ‘Pssh. Ex­tra car­dio train­ing.’ If I can do this now not breath­ing, hav­ing half oxy­gen, imag­ine what I can do at full strength. This was just a great con­fi­dence booster.”

Dale­man, a 19-year-old from New­mar­ket, Ont., won bronze at last year’s world cham­pi­onships, while Os­mond claimed sil­ver.

The 22-year-old Os­mond, from Marys­town, N.L., had an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic fall on her open­ing el­e­ment — a triple flip — but skated the re­main­der of her pro­gram to Edith Piaf’s Sous le Ciel de Paris cleanly to score 71.41. It’s the first time Os­mond has trailed af­ter the short pro­gram all sea­son.

“I can’t re­mem­ber the last time I missed a flip-toe in com­pe­ti­tion, and even since the Grand Prix fi­nal, I haven’t missed a jump once in my pro­gram,” said Os­mond, a three­time Cana­dian cham­pion. “So it is re­ally frus­trat­ing not do­ing my first el­e­ment, but over­all I’m so happy I was able to come back af­ter a fall, a very un­char­ac­ter­is­tic fall for me, and be able to keep my fo­cus and do ev­ery­thing else the best I could.”

Sarah Ta­mura, a 16-year-old from Van­cou­ver, is third af­ter the short pro­gram.

The Cana­dian cham­pi­onships de­ter­mine the Olympic team for Pyeongchang. Canada has three berths in women’s sin­gles at next month’s Olympics.

JONATHAN HAY­WARD/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Gabrielle Dale­man, right, of New­mar­ket, Ont., re­acts to her scores while sit­ting with her coach, Lee Barkell, af­ter per­form­ing her short pro­gram Fri­day at the Cana­dian Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships in Van­cou­ver.

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