Olympic favorite Nathan Chen soars to sixth straight US figure skating title

Nathan Chen blazed through an amusing complimentary skate Sunday to win his 6th successive title at the United States figure skating champions, strengthening his status as one of the favorites for next month’s Beijing Olympics.Yes, there was a fall on among his 4 skyrocketing quads. Yes, there was a ridiculous fall throughout his choreographed series.It didn’t matter.Chen won the complimentary skate with 212.63 points for an overall of 328.01, providing him the title by almost 26 points over 17- year-old wunderkind Ilia Malinin. The 6 titles are the most considering that Todd Eldredge won his 6th in 2002, and the very first to win 6 in a row given that two-time Olympic champ Dick Button won 7 straight in the 1940 s and ’50 s.It has actually been an exceptional four-year run for the 22- year-old Chen because a shockingly bad brief program at the Pyeongchang Games cost him a chance at an Olympic medal. He won 14 successive occasions, from nationwide titles to world champions and whatever in between, prior to losing to Vincent Zhou at Skate America in October.That ended up being a blip: Chen won Skate Canada the really next week.He highlighted his preparedness for Beijing when he broke his own nationwide record in the brief program, a throwback efficiency of his La Boheme program from a couple years ago that included a set of skyrocketing quads and scored 115.39 points.Chen put his preparedness in all CAPS with his efficiency in the complimentary skate.Using an outfit embellished with a supernova, Chen launched to another level with a rating that beat his own Grand Prix finest this season of 307.18 points. And it topped the 322.36 points his greatest competitor in Beijing, two-time Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu, scored in winning the Japanese nationwide title last month.Malinin, whose moms and dads both skated for Uzbekistan at the Olympics, had a three-point lead after the brief program over long time fan preferred Jason Brown, whose odyssey getting to Nashville– 5 canceled flights, 4 airline company modifications, 3 airports, 2 nations and about 33 hours of taking a trip– made him a winner despite his efficiency.Malinin, the self-proclaimed “quad god”, struck a big opening quad lutz and quad toe loop to set the tone for his program. He likewise struck a quad salchow later on in the efficiency to complete 2nd with 302.48 points.Brown provided it whatever he might to make the Olympic group.Understood much more for his artistry than his leaping capability, Brown fell on an opening quad salchow throughout his program set to haunting music from the movie Schindler’s List. He rallied to land the rest of his dives, consisting of 2 triple axels, to end up with 289.78 points– less a point behind Zhou’s quad-heavy program.” It’s been an actually difficult go to get here, and I do not suggest that in simply the last 72 hours,” Brown stated. “The last 2 years particularly, it was truly attempting times. And simply attempting my finest to remain grounded, concentrate on what I can manage, and I lastly had that minute of release when the program was over.”Zhou, who was 6th at the 2018 Games, likewise showcased throughout nationals the type of skyrocketing quads it will require to challenge Hanyu and the rest of the high-flying Japanese group for the leading podium action in Beijing. He simply didn’t land enough of them.Zhou marched on his opening quad lutz, struck his next 3 quads, then broke down with a fall on his 2nd quad lutz– a dive he kept falling on throughout warmups. He likewise fell throughout his triple axel-double toe loop combination later on in the program.If he makes the group, Zhou is among the couple of American professional athletes that might have household in the Olympic crowd. Foreign fans are disallowed from participating in, however Chinese people will be permitted to purchase tickets. Zhou’s moms and dads, both computer system researchers in Silicon Valley, moved from Beijing when he was young, and all 4 of his grandparents still reside in China.Yaroslav Paniot had a rough go, too. The young skater had the crowd rocking with his Elvis-inspired totally free skate, then made their appreciation, too, when he attempted gamely to go on following an issue with his skate. He eventually needed to withdraw. Read More