Men's podium at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Nathan Chen (USA) repeated as World Champion in what was a spectacular Men’s Final at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama (JPN) on Saturday. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu pulled up one spot to claim the silver, his sixth Word medal. Vincent Zhou (USA) took the bronze, his first medal at the World Championships.
Chen had drawn to skate after Hanyu, who had set the 18,000 spectators at a sold out arena on fire with his performance. Nevertheless, the 19-year-old remained composed and put out a clean program to “Land of All” by Woodkid, pulling off a quad Lutz, flip, quad toe and quad toe-triple toe as well as five triples including an Axel. The 2018 World Champion collected a level four for his spins and footwork and set a new highest score in the Free Skating with 216.02 points. He racked up 323.42 points. “It’s an amazing feeling to be up here with these two guys. This competition went awesome. I’m proud of myself for being able to put out two pretty strong programs and ultimately just happy with how it went and I hope to have more experiences like this,” Chen said. “Every time Yuzu (Yuzuru Hanyu) skates, he does something amazing and incredible and it’s just a huge honor to be able to skate with him, skate after him, especially knowing how he sets the bar. It’s great to be able to follow that,” the U.S. Champion shared.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Hanyu, who stood in third place following the Short Program, delivered as well and hit a quad loop, quad toe, his unique quad toe-triple Axel sequence plus five triple jumps in his routine to “Art on Ice” by Edvin Marton. The only glitch was a shaky and underrotated quad Salchow. With 206.10 points for the Free Skating, the two-time Olympic Champion ranked second in this segment and second overall on 300.97 points. “I had one mistake in my free program, but I am pleased that I could perform well on the World Championships. I think a lot of people have been watching the competition since the official training session and were worried about my quadruple loop, but I somehow managed to land it. I really wanted to win when I was skating,” the two-time World Champion said. “But I lost, that is about it. 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 simple do not have enough strength to win,” he continued.
Zhou’s performance to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” featured a quad Lutz-triple toe combination, quad Salchow and four clean triples but he underrotated a quad toe and a triple flip. The 18-year-old scored 186.99 points, a seasons best, and totaled 281.16 points. “It’s still kind of hard to believe it actually happened. This is the best result that I could have possibly hoped for and to share the podium with Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu is unbelievable,” the Four Continents bronze medalist commented.
For the first time since 1996, two U.S. Men are on the World podium. Back then, Todd Eldredge had won gold and Rudy Galindo took bronze.
Shoma Uno (JPN) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
2018 Olympic and World silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) struggled with the quad Salchow and flip, but landed two quad toes to move up from sixth to fourth place at 270.32 points. Boyang Jin (CHN) came from ninth to finish fifth (262.71 points), edging Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), who climbed from tenth to sixth (262.44 points). Jason Brown (USA) on the other hand dropped from second to ninth after a few errors.