Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA) jumped to gold going for six quadruple jumps at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 in Milan (ITA) on Saturday, becoming the first American man to win the title and any World medal since Evan Lysacek took gold in 2009. The 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan pulled up from fifth place to repeat as World silver medalist and Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada claimed the bronze.
Nathan Chen (USA)
Skating to “Mao’s Last Dancer” and “Sacre du Printemps”, Chen reeled off a quad Lutz, quad flip-double toe, quad flip, quad toe and quad toe-triple toe as well as a triple Axel and a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow combination. The only glitch came when he stepped out of the sixth quadruple jump, a Salchow. The U.S. Champion collected a level four for his spins and footwork and set a new personal best of 219.46 points in the Free Skating to total 321.40 points.
“It’s just a dream come true, it’s something I have wanted to achieve my whole career and I’m just so glad I was able to do it,” Chen said about winning. “I was kind of checking what everyone was doing on Jackie Wong’s Twitter so I was sort of updated on what was going on. It gave me the opportunity, the chance. Of course I don’t want to see my competitors fail or do badly, I want them to be pushing me and pushing each other, but I’m glad I was able to do what I needed to do and I felt the audience really wanted a good performance and they motivated me to do it,” the 18-year-old explained.
Shoma Uno (JPN)
Uno landed a quadruple-double toeloop combination, a triple Axel, triple Axel-single loop-triple flip as well as three more triples. However, the Olympic silver medalist, who is handicapped by an ankle injury, struggled with his other quads, falling three times. The Japanese Champion scored 179.51 points which added up to 273.77 points overall.
“My foot felt better than yesterday. It was hard to bring it in a good condition. I did mistakes in the beginning, but I am satisfied that I finished the free skate like this. In my recent practices, my quad loops and flips were rather rough but still I decided to go for them and I didn’t do so well but I came back in the end of the program really nicely, so I am satisfied with my result today,” Uno told the press.
Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
Kolyada’s program to Elvis Presley songs featured a quadruple toeloop, two triple Axels as well as two more triples and three level-four spins, but he fell on the quad Lutz and the second quad toe. The two-time European bronze medalist earned 172.24 points and was ranked fourth in the Free Skating. Overall he slipped from second to third at 272.32 points.
“I am happy with the short program, but in the free obviously I made mistakes. But I enjoyed performing my program, the presentation,” Kolyada commented. “The last time a Russian man medaled at Worlds was Artur Gachinski in 2011. We need to raise the level of men’s skating in Russia. I think this (medal) will be a positive experience for me and the other guys,” he added.
Alexei Bychenko (ISR) pulled up from seventh to fourth for a career-best result at the World Championships on 258.28 points. “This season was hard, there was a lot of stress, a lot of preparation, and what I did today is not exactly what I expected but anyway I fought for every element. Anyway, I am very glad with my result. Each season I try to beat my previous result and I am really proud of myself and my team,” Bychenko shared.
Kazuki Tomono (JPN) was ranked third in the Free Skating with a clean performance to ‘West Side Story’ that included two quadruple Salchow. Overall he moved up from 11th to fifth place in his debut at the ISU World Championships. “It is the first time to be at such a big competition for me and I learned a lot from it, I become more confident. I had already had the experience to skate as a substitute so I was prepared to such a situation after Yuzuru (Hanyu) and Takahito (Mura) withdrew. I was very lucky to be here and here I came as the substitute but I want to be a real and dignified representative of Japan,” Tomono noted. Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) pulled up from ninth to sixth on 254.86 points.
The 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA), who stood in third following the Short Program, faded to 14th after numerous errors (235.24 points) and two-time World bronze medalist
Boyang Jin (CHN) plummeted from 4th to 19th (223.41 points).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 continue with the Ice Dance Free Dance.