US teen Chen hits record six quads to win world gold
March 24 2018 06:41 PM
Gold medallist US Nathan Chen
Gold medallist US Nathan Chen

AFP/Milan

American quad-jumping prodigy Nathan Chen hit a record six quads to win men's gold in the world figure skating championships on Saturday.

The 18-year-old from Salt Lake City was the only skater in the final group to stay on his feet, blowing away his rivals with a winning margin of 47.63 points.

His free skate to ‘Mao's Last Dancer’ by Christopher Gordon earned him personal best scores of 219.46 points for the free skate and overall total of 321.40.

‘I wanted to redeem myself here,’ said Chen whose Olympic challenge had come unstuck in the short programme before rallying to fifth in Pyeongchang.

And it also allowed him to nail the record for the most quad jumps landed in a free skate -- after not being credited with one of the six he achieved in the Olympics.

‘I'm really happy that I was able to do it (six quads) again,’ said Chen.

‘I did six quads at the Olympics and they weren't perfect, they weren't perfect here too, but I'm going to keep working on that.’

Japan's Shoma Uno took silver despite falling three times in the free skating final, scoring 273.77.

Mikhail Kolyada, 272.32, also fell twice but took bronze as weary skaters struggled in the final event of the season.

‘I was aware of what the other guys had done,’ said Chen who led after the short programme and took to the ice last in Milan. ‘I knew they had made a lot of mistakes and that I could make some.

‘I'm really glad worlds are held so close after the Olympics it gave me the chance to end my season on a high note.’

The reigning ISU Grand Prix champion returns the United States to the world podium for the first time since 2009 when Evan Lysacek won gold.

- Uno battles through pain -

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan did not defend his world title because of injury.

In Hanyu's absence 20-year-old Uno was seen as favourite to move up from his silver medals last year at the world championship and in February at the Olympics.

After suffering an ankle injury in training, Uno struggled to fifth after the short programme before moving up to second as his rivals faltered.

Skating to Puccini's 'Turandot' he crashed on three of his four-rotation quad jumps but pushed through to the end.

‘I didn't give up until the end and my reward is that I got this medal,’ added the former world junior champion.

Kolyada skated to an Elvis Presley selection and put Russia back on the men's podium for the first time in seven years.

‘It's the first time since 2011 that a Russian man has made it to the podium at worlds. I'm happy it's me.’

American Vincent Zhou dropped off the podium after his error-strewn free skate in which he fell three times, slipping from third to finish 14th.

China's Jin Boyang -- a two-time world bronze medallist -- fell five times to crash to 19th.

The competition concludes later Saturday with French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron bidding to seal a third world title.



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