Nathan Chen beats out Yuzuru Hanyu to defend world figure skating title

first_imgTopics … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest American Nathan Chen overcame a world record free skate by Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan’s double Olympic champion, with an even more sensational routine to successfully defend his world figure skating championship on Saturday in Saitama, Japan.Chen, a pre-med student at Yale University, is now the first US man to win back-to-back world titles since Scott Hamilton won four in a row from 1981-1984.Vincent Zhou of the US won the bronze with a season-best free skate (186.99) and total score (281.16), giving the Americans a pair of skaters on the men’s podium at worlds for the first time since 1996, when Todd Eldredge won gold and Rudy Galindo took the bronze in Edmonton, Canada.Chen built on a strong lead in the short program with a dynamic porgram that included four clean quadruple jumps and had the crowd at Saitama Super Arena, just north of Tokyo, clapping along by the end.The 19-year-old Chen broke the world record for both the free skate and total points, set moments before by Hanyu, surging to victory with 216.02 and a total of 323.42.“As soon as I stepped on the ice, I felt that energy already there. He (Hanyu) has been pushing the sport making the sport so enjoyable, so competitive, and that definitely made me so much better of a skater,” said Chen.Hanyu, 24 and competing in Japan for the first time in several years, brought the house down with a routine that began with a clean quadruple loop and hit two more clean quads, with a quad Salchow under-rotated.In a routine that was haunting and energetic, Hanyu, who had not competed for four months due to an ankle injury, racked up 206.10 points in the free skate and 300.97 in total, breaking the record he set in a Helsinki Grand Prix event in 2018.Yet it was only enough for silver.“I had one mistake in my free program but I am pleased I could perform well at the world championships,” said Hanyu, whose fans cheered ecstatically when he landed his jumps.Hanyu, who is known as a perfectionist, added that he was far from satisfied with the result.“I really want to win. 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,” he said. Figure skating Support The Guardian US sports Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img

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