Lake Placid / United States

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Four Continents Champion Nathan Chen (USA) made a statement in the Men’s Short Program at Bridgestone Skate America in Lake Placid on Friday, taking the lead with 15 points to spare. Adam Rippon (USA) and Russia’s Sergei Voronov (RUS) follow in second and third, with good chances to make the Grand Prix Final.

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Chen reeled off a quad Lutz-triple toe combination, a quad flip, a somewhat shaky triple Axel, two level-four spins and level-four footwork in his routine to ‘Nemesis’ by Benjamin Clementine.

The United States Champion posted a new personal best of 104.12 points.

“It was really exciting to be in America for my fourth ever Grand Prix,” the 18-year-old said.

“I made a little bobble on my Axel, but this is something I will try to focus on for tomorrow.

“The music has a really good beat, everybody can feel it and clap along. I definitely feel that, even in practice when I am just alone on the ice. When the music is playing, I can feel the character and I can really get into it.”

Performing to ‘Let Me Think About It’, Rippon produced a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Axel and triple Lutz as well as level-four spins and footwork. The NHK Trophy silver medalist recorded a new personal best with 89.04 points.

“I felt really strong, really confident. I like to show off and I like to perform, it’s what I love about competing,” the 2016 U.S. Champion said.

“I wanted to improve on my program component scores from NHK. I listened to what the judges had to say and I made I sure that I cleaned up all the elements.

“I wanted to get as many points as I could. I might not be trying the hardest program, but I’m going to milk it.”

Voronov’s tango to ‘Adios Nonino’ included a quad toe-triple toe, triple Axel and earned a level four for his three spins. However, the triple Lutz was a bit wobbly. The NHK Trophy Champion scored 87.51 points.

“I am quite pleased with my performance because I was able to deal with my nerves,” the two-time Russian Champion said.

“It was a little new for me to skate first (in the group) in the Short Program. The whole season I skated towards the end. There were some issues in my performance. No, I need to focus for tomorrow.”

Han Yan (CHN) fell on a quad toe but still managed a season’s best of 85.97 points to finish fourth.

Daniel Samohin (ISR) is ranked fifth on 82.28 points followed by World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN), who singled his Axel (77.97 points).

Bridgestone Skate America is the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December.

The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$ 272,000.

Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here. Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.