20-year-old Javier Fernandez of Spain thrilled the crowd at Skate Canada yesterday evening when he landed a quad and a slew of triples early and charmed his way through the rest of his short program, threatening to preempt the long-expected showdown between defending champion Patrick Chan and 2-time silver medallist Daisuke Takahashi. Chan's program wasn't perfectly executed, but he got within a point or so of Fernandez by nearly landing a quad himself, so the pressure was firmly on Takahashi's shoulders when he took to the ice. You couldn't tell it, though, by the way he skated--I'd say it was the best early-season short program of his career.
Take a look for yourself! Here's Fernandez:
Let's see how the new Brian Orser protege handles going last in the free skate tonight, right after Chan and Takahashi get to lay down their challenges!
[Update 1 (10/30/11, 9:56 am): Here's Chan's short program:
Thought he caught a bit of a break from the judges myself.]