HELSINKI — On the eve of the world figure skating championships, Canada’s two-time pairs champion Eric Radford woke up and could “hardly move.”
The 32-year-old from Balmertown, Ont., is battling an injury to his right hip that struck last week and plagued him during Tuesday’s two practice sessions, the worst possible timing for Radford and pairs partner Meagan Duhamel.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Radford said.
Radford originally felt the injury to the hip of his landing leg last week, describing it as a spasmed muscle deep in his abdominals.
“It was bugging me but still I had good control. It was just sort of sore,” he said. ”And then this morning I woke up and it was so stiff that I could hardly move, and then when I got on the ice, I can’t squeeze my legs together. I don’t know what muscle it is specifically… when I’m in the air, I can’t pull in properly, my legs feel like they’re going to fly apart. And even when I do cross-cuts, I feel like I don’t have a lot of control over my hips.”
It mostly affects their side-by-side triple Lutz jumps because he pivots powerfully off his right hip. He fell on three of them during Tuesday afternoon’s practice and touched a hand down on a fourth.
“What it feels like is the muscle’s not responding, it feels like when you have jelly legs,” he said.
A fall on the triple Lutz in competition would be costly. The element in the short program comes with a base score of 6.0 plus a potential 3.0 added points for grade of execution (GOE). A fall would come with a negative GOE score, plus a 1.0 deduction for the fall.