Quad doesn't mean gold: Chan

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By Sonia Oxley

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadian teen-ager Patrick Chan is not one for listening to his elders, dismissing "old" Yevgeny Plushenko's prediction that skaters would need to do a high-scoring quadruple jump to win Olympic figure skating gold.

Chan, last year's world silver medalist and popular with fans for his intricate footwork, is one of the top challengers to 27-year-old Plushenko's crown but has no quad in his armory.

"Worlds and Olympics are very much the same in my mind so I don't see why it's not possible.

"I didn't want to risk it. I have never done it in a competition, so why do it in the most important competition of my life which comes only every four years? I stuck with the plan to do just two triple axels and a well-balanced program."

He was determined not to be intimidated by the experienced Plushenko, saying he admired his technique even if his routine lacked the aesthetic appeal of more artistic skaters like him.

"He has the confidence that he doesn't need to do the transitions because he can do what I think is a magnificent quad. But he's old!" Chan, 19, said with a smile.

"For me the transitions are one of the most important things in a program, it's very boring to watch a routine without transitions."

Another gold medal contender, Japan's 2007 world silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi, said he would be performing a quad to keep up with Plushenko.

"I intend to perform one, yes," he told a news conference. "I look forward to being able to amaze and daze everyone."

Under the new scoring system introduced following a 2002 judging scandal, marks are awarded for technical components and presentation.

Chan said that for this reason even if a skater landed the quad cleanly it was still no guarantee of a gold medal.

"It's not only about the quad," he said. "You don't win automatically with it, you have the rest of the program which is where I come in, the footwork, the transitions, the interpretation."

(Editing by Miles Evans)