Mervin Tran

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Mervin Tran
2012 WFSC 04d 152 Mervin Tran, cropped.jpg
Tran at the 2012 World Championships
Personal information
Country represented Canada
Former country(ies) represented Japan
Born (1990-09-22) September 22, 1990 (age 24)
Regina, Saskatchewan
Residence Montreal, Quebec
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Partner Marissa Castelli
Former partner Natasha Purich, Narumi Takahashi
Coach Bruno Marcotte, Bobby Martin
Former coach Richard Gauthier, S. Fullum
Choreographer Julie Marcotte
Skating club CAP St. Leonard
Former skating club St-Leonard FSC, Montreal
Training locations St. Leonard, Quebec
Began skating 1994
Season's bests 6 (2011–2012)[1]
14 (2010–2011)[2]
19 (2009–2010)[3]
32 (2008–2009)[4]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 162.09
2013 Bompard
Short program 56.71
2013 Nebelhorn Trophy
Free skate 106.20
2013 Bompard

Mervin Tran (born September 22, 1990) is a Canadian pair skater. Competing for Japan with former partner Narumi Takahashi, he is the 2012 World bronze medalist, the 2010 Junior World silver medalist, the 2010 JGP Final champion, and 2008–2010 Japanese national champion. They were the first pair to win a World medal for Japan. After their partnership ended, Tran competed one season with Natasha Purich for Canada. In June 2014, he began a partnership with U.S. skater Marissa Castelli competing for the United States.

Personal life[edit]

Tran was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He moved to Montreal, Quebec in 2007 to train with Richard Gauthier. His parents were refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia.[5] He competed at the provincial track and field championships in the high jump and the 100-meter hurdles, finishing fifth in the hurdles.[5]


Early career[edit]

Mervin Tran began skating at age four after his parents enrolled him in a hockey camp but then moved into figure skating after he took CanSkate.[5] He was originally a single skater and placed 9th on the novice level at the 2007 Canadian Championships.[5]

Partnership with Takahashi[edit]

Takahashi/Tran in 2011

In 2007, Richard Gauthier was searching for a pair skating partner for Japanese skater Narumi Takahashi. Bruno Marcotte recommended Mervin Tran, who agreed to come to Montreal, Quebec for a tryout.[6] Takahashi/Tran began training together in July 2007.[5][7] During their career together, they trained in St. Leonard[8] and received funding from the Japanese skating association.[6]

Takahashi/Tran made their international debut on the 2007–08 ISU Junior Grand Prix, where they placed 12th and 6th at their events. They won the Japan Junior Championships and earned a trip to 2008 Junior Worlds, where they placed 15th.

In the 2008–2009 season, Takahashi/Tran placed 4th at their first Junior Grand Prix event. They won the bronze medal at their second event, qualifying them for the 2008-2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, where they placed 7th. They won the senior title at the 2008–2009 Japanese Championships. At the 2009 Junior Worlds, they placed 7th.

During the 2009–10 season, Takahashi?Tran competed on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. They won the bronze medal at their first event and gold at their second event, which qualified them for the 2009–10 JGP Final. They also debuted on the senior Grand Prix series with an 8th place finish at NHK Trophy. They won silver at the JGP Final and at the Junior World Championships. They became the second pair representing Japan to medal at an ISU Championships (Yuko Kavaguti / Alexander Markuntsov were the first pair when they won silver in 2001).[9]

During the 2010–11 season, Takahashi/Tran won silver medals at their JGP events and qualified for the JGP Final. They won gold at the event, becoming the first pair representing Japan to win the title. They also won their first medals on the senior Grand Prix series, a bronze at 2010 NHK Trophy, and then silver at 2010 Cup of Russia. As a result, they were first alternates for the senior Grand Prix Final. They won the bronze medal at the 2011 Junior Worlds. They also made their senior World Championships debut, finishing 9th.

During the 2011–12 season, Takahashi/Tran placed fourth at their first Grand Prix assignment, the 2011 Skate Canada International, and then won the silver medal at their second event, 2011 NHK Trophy. In November 2011, Tran said he was considering pursuing Japanese citizenship in order to allow the couple to compete at the Olympics but said it was a difficult decision because it would mean giving up his Canadian citizenship.[10] They became the first Japanese pair to qualify for the senior Grand Prix Final.

At the 2012 World Championships, Takahashi / Tran placed third in both programs and won the bronze medal.[11][12] They became the first pair to medal for Japan at a senior World Championships.[12] They placed third at the 2012 World Team Trophy. In April 2012, Tran said he would continue to consider an application for Japanese citizenship and the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee said he was "willing to make a special request (on behalf of Tran) to the government if necessary."[13][14] In May 2012, a government official said it would be difficult to naturalize Tran because he had never resided in Japan.[15]

In April 2012, Takahashi dislocated her left shoulder while practicing a lift.[16] After five or six recurrences, she decided to undergo surgery on October 30.[17] As a result, the pair withdrew from their 2012–13 Grand Prix events, the 2012 Cup of China and 2012 NHK Trophy.[16] They said they would miss about four to six months.[17] On December 18, 2012, the Japanese Skating Federation announced that the pair had ended their partnership.[18][19]

Partnership with Purich[edit]

On March 12, 2013, Tran announced he had teamed up with Natasha Purich to compete for Canada.[20] They debuted at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy and placed sixth. The pair finished fourth at the 2014 Canadian Championships.

Partnership with Castelli[edit]

On June 10, 2014, it was announced that Tran and the United States' Marissa Castelli had formed a partnership which would train mainly in Montreal under Bruno Marcotte and to a lesser extent at the Skating Club of Boston under Bobby Martin.[21][22] It was also announced that he was awaiting release from Skate Canada, indicating that they might compete for the United States.[21]


With Castelli[edit]

Season Short program Free skating
  • Ain't No Sunshine
    choreo. by Julie Marcotte

With Purich[edit]

Season Short program Free skating
Life Is Beautiful
by Nicola Piovani
  • Buon Giorno Principessa
  • Grand Hotel Valse
  • Valse Larmoyante

With Takahashi[edit]

Takahashi/Tran won their first senior Grand Prix medal at 2010 NHK Trophy
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
Gigi (1958 film):
  • Main Title
  • You Never Told Me
  • Gigi's Big Moment
  • Gaston's Decision

  • Farrucas
    by Pepe Romero
  • Chano Lobato
  • Maria Madgalena
  • Paco Romero (Flamenco)

Competitive highlights[edit]

With Castelli for United States[edit]

Event 2014–15
US Championships 6th
GP = Grand Prix

With Purich for Canada[edit]

Purich/Tran at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy
Event 2013–14
Four Continents Championships 5th
GP Trophée Eric Bompard 6th
Nebelhorn Trophy 6th
Canadian Championships 4th
GP = Grand Prix

With Takahashi for Japan[edit]

Takahashi/Tran with their fellow medalists at the 2012 World Championships
Event 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
Worlds 9th 3rd
Four Continents 5th 7th 5th
Grand Prix Final 6th
GP Cup of China WD
GP NHK Trophy 8th 3rd 2nd WD
GP Rostelecom 2nd
GP Skate Canada 4th
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 15th 7th 2nd 3rd
JGP Final 7th 2nd 1st
JGP Estonia 12th
JGP Germany 6th 2nd
JGP Great Britain 3rd 2nd
JGP Mexico 4th
JGP Poland 1st
Japan Champ. 1st 1st 1st 1st
Japan Jr. Ch. 1st
Team events
World Team 1T / 3P
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.


  1. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2011/2012: Pairs". International Skating Union. April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2010/2011: Pairs". International Skating Union. May 6, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2009/2010: Pairs". International Skating Union. March 24, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2008/2009: Pairs". International Skating Union. April 18, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Mittan, Barry (August 30, 2008). "Young Team Gives Japan Hope for Future". Skate Today. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Mervin Tran, un "Japonais" à St-Léonard" ["Japanese" Mervin Tran in St-Leonard]. La Presse (in French). December 9, 2011. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ Brodie, Rob (April 14, 2011). "Takahashi and Tran: Young Pair Flying High". International Figure Skating. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (September 20, 2011). "Japanese, Canadian pairs face off at Mid-Atlantics". Icenetwork. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ Flade, Tatjana (June 6, 2010). "High ambitions for Takahashi and Tran". Golden Skate. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Sato, Shigemi (November 14, 2011). "Skater Mervin Tran mulls turning Japanese". Agence France-Presse (Google News). Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ Kondakova, Anna (March 28, 2012). "Savchenko and Szolkowy land throw triple Axel; lead pairs in Nice". Golden Skate. 
  12. ^ a b Kondakova, Anna (March 30, 2012). "Savchenko and Szolkowy capture fourth World title". Golden Skate. 
  13. ^ "JOC willing to work with Tran on citizenship issue". Ice Network. April 27, 2012. 
  14. ^ Flade, Tatjana (May 6, 2012). "Takahashi and Tran prepare for next season with new confidence". Golden Skate. 
  15. ^ "Figure skating: Pairs skater Tran's naturalization process hits snag". Mainichi Shimbun. May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b フィギュア:ペアの高橋成美が左肩脱臼、GPシリーズ欠場 [Figure skating: Pair skater Narumi Takahashi dislocated her shoulder and will miss GP series]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (October 26, 2012). "Takahashi, Tran out of Grand Prix, worlds doubtful". Icenetwork. 
  18. ^ 高橋、トラン組ペア解消 世界フィギュア銅メダル [World bronze figure skating pair Takahashi and Tran end partnership] (in Japanese). Sports Navi. December 18, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Figure skating: Takahashi-Tran dissolve pair combo". Kyodo News (Mainichi Shimbun). December 19, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. 
  20. ^ Marois, Michel (March 12, 2013). "Mervin Tran: l'art de retomber sur ses patins" [Mervin Tran: the art of getting back on your feet (skates)]. La Presse (in French). 
  21. ^ a b Rosewater, Amy (June 10, 2014). "Castelli, Tran teaming up despite logistical hurdles". IceNetwork. 
  22. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (July 26, 2014). "Detroit postcards: More pair action off ice than on". IceNetwork. 
  23. ^ "Natasha PURICH / Mervin TRAN: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2010/2011". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. 
  30. ^ a b "Competition Results: Natasha PURICH / Mervin TRAN". International Skating Union. 
  31. ^ "Competition Results: Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mervin Tran at Wikimedia Commons