Vincent Zhou(USA) skated to his first ISU Grand Prix gold medal at Guaranteed Rate Skate America, ending the winning streak of three-time ISU World Champion Nathan Chen (USA), who took the bronze medal. The silver went to Japan’s Shoma Uno.
Zhou reeled off a quad Lutz and flip and three more, albeit slightly under-rotated (q) quadruple jumps, plus two triple Axels in his martial-arts inspired routine to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The 2019 World bronze medalist set a new season’s best in the Free Skating with 198.13 points, and in the total score with 295.56 points.
Vincent Zhou © International Skating Union (ISU)
“I don't think it has sunk in yet," Zhou told the post-event press conference. "I didn't really expect this result, but what I did expect of myself was to be as well prepared and well trained as I possibly could.
"I think just focusing on that every single day at home led to making the seemingly impossible become possible. I hope that's a recurring theme for the rest of this season. I look forward to continuing to work hard to make even better things happen.”
Skating to a new arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero”, Uno landed a somewhat shaky quad loop, two quad toe-double toe combinations, a quad flip and two triple Axels. The quad Salchow was not clean and was downgraded. The 2018 Olympic silver medalist earned 181.61 points and accumulated 270.68 points.
“I am honored to end up second," he said. "This is a very high-level competition, it is amazing. But at the same time, when I look at my goals and what I am aiming at, I face reality that I'm not there yet. I will work hard and train for my next Grand Prix, which is the NHK Trophy in Japan.”
Chen completed a quad loop, quad flip-triple toe, quad toe-Euler-double flip and quad toe-triple toe as well as a triple Axel in his routine to a selection of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but he doubled the Lutz and Salchow. The three-time World Champion scored 186.48 points and totaled 269.37 points.
“It (the winning streak) was going to end at some point of time. I'm really proud of these guys here, if anyone is to break my winning streak I'm glad it's him (Zhou)”, Chen said. “I'm proud of what I've accomplished in the past, but at this point of time the only thing I can do is move forward.”
Kevin Aymoz (FRA) withdrew before the Free Skating due to injury. He stood in 11th place following the Short Program.
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