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  • Friday, March 5, 1999

    Skaters' silver tops medal haul

    By BARRETT HOOPER -- Telegraph Journal

    CORNER BROOK, Nfld. - Bonard Muck of Blackville and his pairs partner Carolyne Forest of Lasalle, Que., picked up New Brunswick's second silver medal of the Canada Winter Games yesterday.

    The pair was second after the short program, a position they held on to following the free program in the novice dance competition at the figure skating venue yesterday.

    "We did not do too bad," Muck said. "It was a good skate and we're happy with the medal."

    It was N.B.'s fourth medal of the day.

    Shawn Sawyer of Edmundston took third place in novice men's figure skating, while Saint John's Gordon McKinnon conceded his semi-final boxing match due to a hand injury and will automatically receive a bronze.

    Ian Gardner of Saint John lost his semi-final bout in the 71-kilogram weight class to Ontario 5-3 and will also get a bronze at tonight's medal ceremony.

    That brings the province's medal total to 13.

    But you have to forgive Sawyer for appearing blase about his bronze-medal performance in novice men's figure skating.

    At 14, he is already a veteran of numerous national and international competitions.

    And in 1997 he was chosen by Toller Cranston to appear in a television special honouring the flambouyant skater.

    Cranston saw then what the young skater showed the 800 or so on hand for yesterday's free skate - a strong technical performance with a sense of fun.

    Sawyer's choice of music - upbeat circus music that contrasted sharply with the more classically oriented selections of the other competitors - had the crowd clapping along as he opened with a double combination before landing a clean triple-jump combination.

    Sitting in second place after the short program, Sawyer had to settle for third after falling on a triple loop and touching down on a double Axel late in yesterday's long program.

    "I wasn't really myself out there," he said after. "I'm happy for my medal, but not the way I skated. I was definitely more happy with my short program."

    The Edmundston skater was hampered by a cold that had been dogging him most of the week as well as a sore back, the result "of over-training for the Games."

    Ontario and British Columbia skaters finished first and second ahead of Sawyer.

    Meanwhile, Hampton's Doug Gardner finished in 13th place after a fall on a double Lutz double toe combination in the free program.


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