Stockholm (AP) – Nathan Chen put himself in the company of history’s best figure skaters, becoming the first American to win the World Figure Skating Championship men’s title for the third consecutive time after Scott Hamilton.
Chen was on pace to easily surpass Japan’s two-time Olympic winner Yuzuru Hanyu in a free skate and stamped himself to beat at the Beijing Olympics the following year. Hanyu struggled fiercely on Saturday and fell in third place behind Yuma Kagiyama, a 17-year-old countryman who took silver in his first senior world.
“I am able to join this world championship after this unprecedented championship, it is amazing. “I’m used to it right now,” said Chen. Very quiet. “
No one has the expertise to jump the chain. His “Quad King” reputation is well established, and he calls NBC analyst Johnny Wear a “technical wizard”. But there was more to it: an intensity, even a speed, as if the chain was just completing them instead of winning each tractor. Also the balance of artistry and technique that has improved since 2017, when Chen won five consecutive US titles.
Even the look on his face at the conclusion of his free skate was intensely focused on the celebration.
Also, Chen had to wait for Hanyu’s performance, which was not just for the Japanese star, but for the pedestrian. He made two jumps, landing a sloppy landing on the others, and discovering that it wasn’t nearly enough when he shook his head before taking a bow and dropping snow.
Kagiyama could not wait for his points even after a personal best by 11 points in which he landed three quads, and despite a few bubbles, was a solid second for the chains in the free skate. Kagiyama jumped and ran into place in the kissing and crying area, then sat down and practically danced in his seat as the horrors of his achievement hit home.
Hamilton won four consecutive Worlds from 1981–84. Since then, three others (Canada’s Kurt Browning and Patrick Chan, Russia’s Aleksei Yagudin) received three in a row.
Chen has not lost any competition since the 2018 Olympics, when perhaps the shortest event of his career ruined him. He rallied with a stunning free skate to climb from 17th to fifth place.
He has been unmatched since, winning the world, countrymen, Skate America and the Grand Prix final.
A fourth-place finish for Mikhail Kolyada convinced Russia, an outstanding world ranked three men in Beijing. The United States and Japan are also convinced that.
American Jason Brown, who does not have a big jump to win a medal, but specializes in artistry, finished seventh.
The latter is the independent dance to eliminate the first world since Saturday 2019. Last year’s event was canceled due to the Kovid-19 epidemic.
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