Two of Sungod Skating Clubs’ elite figure skaters are off to Regina, Sask. this week to try and secure spots on the B.C. provincial team in advance of the 2022 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.
The Skate Canada Challenge, happening Dec. 1-5 at Regina’s Evraz Place sport complex event, will see the top skaters from across the nation competing head to head to qualify for nationals.
Each skater competing in Regina will have had to qualify for a position at of their own provincial championships, and two skaters from the North Delta-based club, 16-year-olds Jonathan Wu and Caden Chen, earned their spots in the competition with strong performances at the 2022 belairdirect Skate Canada BC/YT Sectional Championships, held at Oceanside Place Arena in Parksville, B.C. Nov. 11-14. The top 18 skaters in each category qualified to compete at the Skate Canada Challenge.
Wu — who took home the bronze medal in the Junior Men’s category at sectionals — has attended nationals before as a novice-level skater, finishing seventh at the 2019 championships, and has his sights set on a top-18 finish in Regina.
Chen, meanwhile, who qualified for the Skate Canada Challenge with a fourth-place finish in the Novice Men’s event, will be making his first trip to the national qualifiers and is eager to secure a spot on the provincial team.
“Both of these skaters will be up against the best in the country and will need to bring their A-games, but I am certain they have the capabilities to earn their spots onto the provincial team for the 2022 nationals,” Kevin Bursey, director of programs at Sungod Skating Club, said in a press release.
Both athletes have been training with a team of coaches since late June and will be travelling to Regina with Constanze Paulinus, the clubs’ recently-appointed high-performance manager. Paulinus is a former national champion who represented Germany as an elite athlete at the international level and joined the club after five years coaching high-performance athletes in China, bringing with her a wealth of international expertise and experience to the athletes training at Sungod Skating Club.
“I see a great deal of potential here at the Sungod Skating Club. I am excited to be a part of this outstanding group of coaches and look forward to expanding this club at national and international levels,” Paulinus said in a press release.
Chen will skate his short program on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 11:55 a.m. (9:55 p.m. PST) and his free program at 10:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. PST) on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Wu, meanwhile, will skate his short program at 9:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m. PST) on Saturday, Dec. 4, followed by his free program on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 10:10 a.m. (8:10 a.m. PST).
The entire Skate Canada Challenge will be livestreamed at skatecanada.ca/2022-skate-canada-challenge.
The 2022 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships will be held at TD Place in Ottawa, Ont. Jan. 6-13.