Nathan Chen Wins Worlds With a Flawless Free Skate

Nathan Chen Wins Worlds With a Flawless Free Skate

SAITAMA, Japan — Nathan Chen, the defending champion, produced a spectacular free skate on Saturday to win the gold medal at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Chen, 19, who was first after the short program, made no mistakes and landed four quadruple jumps to finish with 323.42 points.

Chen, a freshman at Yale, opened with a quad Lutz and followed with a quad flip. The United States national champion, he then added two quad toe loops, one in combination, to solidify his lead.

“I’m proud of myself for being able to put out two good programs, the short and the long,” Chen said. “Ultimately, I’m just happy with how this event went, and I hope to have more experiences like this.”

Yuzuru Hanyu, a two-time Olympic champion, also had a strong free skate with four quads, but he could not erase a 12.53-point deficit and finished second with 300.97.

The American Vincent Zhou was third with 281.16 points.

Hanyu came back from a right ankle ligament injury in November. He was similarly injured in 2017 and returned at last year’s Pyeongchang Olympics, where he became the first male figure skater to win consecutive Olympic gold medals since Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.

“I lost, that is about it,” Hanyu said. “I think I did my best, but the problem is that in figure skating, competition consists of two days, and I am losing in both. It means that I simply do not have enough strength to win.”

The Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno, the 2018 world championship silver medalist, was fourth.

Earlier, the defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the free dance to win gold in the ice dance.

Papadakis and Cizeron, first after the rhythm dance, received 134.23 points for their free dance for a total of 222.65 points and their fourth ice dance world title.

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia were second with 211.76 points, followed by Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States, who moved up from fourth place to finish third with 210.40.

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