Canadian national champion Keegan Messing captured silver in the men's event at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The 31-year-old, who is set to retire this off-season, earned a career-best 275.57 total points to finish behind Japan's Kao Miura (281.53).

Miura won the title with the second-highest score in the world this year, and he needed just about all of it after Messing's impressive performance.

WATCH | Messing wins silver at Four Continents: 

Canada's Keegan Messing finishes in second place in the men's competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships with a score of 275.57

''I was dying out there,'' Messing said about competing at altitude in a press release. ''I really had to pace myself. I had some great training after nationals but when I got here, I was tired all over again. I kept the focus on the breathing and the training.''

Japan's Shun Sato climbed from sixth after his short program to round out the podium (259.14).

Canada's Conrad Orzel (226.10) and Stephen Gogolev (209.76) finished eighth and 13th, respectively, out of the 22 skaters.

WATCH | Kao Miura wins men's title: 

Kao Miura wins men’s title at Four Continents

Japan's Kao Miura captures the gold medal at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships with a score of 281.53.

Earlier on Saturday, fellow national champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps reached the podium in the pairs event, securing bronze with a score of 193.84 total points.

Japan's Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won gold with 208.24 points after maintaining their lead from Friday's short program, while Americans Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe moved past the Montreal duo in the free program to claim silver (201.11).

Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps went awry when she put her hand down on their throw triple flip, then during a messy triple salchow when he fell and she spun out. They rallied to finish strong.

"It was a good stepping stone for us towards the worlds,'' Stellato-Dudek said. ''We're just trying to improve our skates going into the world championships.''

WATCH | Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps secure pairs bronze at Four Continents: 

Canada’s Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps claim pairs bronze at Four Continents

Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Canada finish third in the pairs competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Fellow Canadians Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud finished one spot behind Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps with a personal-best 186.33 points, while Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier finished seventh out of the nine pairs (167.67).

Stellato-Dudek, a 39-year-old who came out of retirement after more than a dozen years away from the sport, became the oldest athlete to win a Grand Prix event in November alongside Deschamps at the Grand Prix de France.

Competition in Colorado Springs continues Sunday with the ice dance free dance.

Watch live coverage on, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

The Four Continents championships bring together the top skaters from non-European countries, a final tune-up for next month's world championships in Japan.

Miura and Kihara became the first Japanese pairs skaters to win the title after overcoming a couple of mistakes in their free skate.

Unbeaten in international competition this year, Kihara spun out on the final double axel of their opening jump sequence, and the pair was sloppy on their triple salchow and throw triple flip. But it was still good enough to score 137.05 points to easily outdistance the Americans.

Miura and Kihara collapsed to the ice after their program, set to the musical project "Sleeping at Last," and tried to catch their breath in the thin air of the Broadmoor World Arena.

"It was really tough skating at this altitude," Kihara said, "but the cheers of the audience kept our legs moving."

WATCH | Japan's Miura, Kihara win pairs title: 

Japan’s Miura, Kihara win pairs title at Four Continents

Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan win the pairs competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships with a score of 208.24.

The only thing to stop Miura and Kihara this season has been a storm: They had to withdraw from the Japanese championships when a winter storm caused them to lose their luggage en route from Canada, and with it their skates.

Otherwise, the seventh-place finishers at the Beijing Olympics have swept the NHK Trophy and Skate Canada along with the Grand Prix Final.

Source link