Caden Chen (left) and Jonathan Wu (right) during a practice for the Sungod Skating Club. (Grace Kennedy photo)

North Delta figure skaters shine at B.C./Yukon championships

Caden Chen, 14, came home with a silver, and Jonathan Wu, 13, earned a shot at nationals

Two young figure skaters are making a name for the Sungod Skating Club on the provincial and national stage.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan Wu will be representing Sungod at this year’s Skate Canada Challenge, to be held in Edmonton, Alta. this week (Nov. 28 through Dec. 3). The tournament is the sole qualifying event for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in January.

Wu narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2019 Super Series BC/Yukon Section Championships earlier this month, just 10.66 points behind Shohei Law of Burnaby’s Champs International Skating Centre of B.C.

Jonathan Wu practicing in the North Delta Recreation Centre. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Jonathan Wu practicing in the North Delta Recreation Centre.

Grace Kennedy photo

But despite the lack of a medal, Wu was still asked to participate in the Skate Canada Challenge.

“I wasn’t really expecting myself to go to Challenge,” Wu said. “I just did my best and I was happy with what I did. And I was even more happy to make it to Challenge.”

Wu competed in the Skate Canada Challenge two years ago, in the pre-novice division.

“I had a really great time, and I guess nerves kind of took me over when I did the shorter program,” he said about his first time at the competition. “But I got myself together. I calmed down. I talked with my friends, I had a little fun in between [skates], and I did way better on the second one.”

This year, Wu is planning to go into the competition a little more relaxed.

“When you go to Challenge, or a provincial competition, it’s a really great experience,” he said. “No matter what, you’ve got to enjoy it. It’s a great honour to be there, and you’ve got to make the best of it and be thankful that you made it.”

And that’s exactly what the Seaquam Secondary hopes to do as he and coach Kevin Bursey head to Edmonton to compete against skaters from across Canada.

Jonathan Wu’s performance begins at 1:22:58.

If Wu finishes among the top 18 competitors in the Novice Men category, he’ll move on to compete at nationals, being held in Saint John, N.B. from Jan. 14 to 20, 2019.

That’s been the plan for Wu all along, Bursey said.

“Jonathan’s probably … the most talented individual I’ve had the opportunity and good fortune to work with,” Bursey said. “He’s always been very naturally gifted. Things have come very easy to Jonathan, so he didn’t have to work as hard as other people did to do some of those skills.

“But he’s at that level now where it’s got to change,” Bursey continued. “Everybody works.”

Wu wasn’t the only Sungod Skating Club member to find success at the section championships: South Surrey’s Caden Chen, 14, brought home a silver medal in the Juvenile Men category.

“Throughout the year … my coaches, everyone in the club supported me,” Chen said. “I was more prepared leading up to the competition, and I feel like I did the best I could.”

RELATED: New coaches help Sungod skaters up their game

Chen missed out on the gold medal by less than half a point, after falling during his final spin. But getting silver was still a big achievement for the skater, who had made significant strides in his skating over the past year.

“Caden was a surprise for us, because he grew a lot,” Bursey said. “He went through a very unstable period with the jumps and some of the skills, and in the last six months he’s just continually progressed.”

This year, the Sungod Skating Club sent 13 skaters to the section championships, and is continuing to see growth in the number of competitive skaters.

“We’re in the process of just seeing everything rebuilding [on the competitive side],” Bursey said. “Our numbers in competitions are more … and our results are starting to come through now.

“So hopefully, four years down the road, we’ll have several athletes doing what Jonathan’s doing.”



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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