- American teenager Nathan Chen continued his strong build up for Olympic glory when he produced a sizzling performance in the men’s short program at Skate America in Lake Placid, New York on Friday.
Chen notched a personal best of 104.12 points for a big 15-plus point lead over compatriot Adam Rippon, with Sergei Voronov of Russia in third.
“I made a little bobble on my (triple) axel, but this is something I will try to focus on for tomorrow,” Chen said after an otherwise near perfect routine that also included a quad Lutz-triple toe combination and a quad flip.
Japan’s Satoko Miyahara topped the Skate America short program Saturday night, a promising sign for the 19-year-old Olympic hopeful following a hip injury this year.
The three-time national champion missed Four Continents and worlds because of her hip, then finished fifth in the Grand Prix event in Japan. Her score of 70.72 beat out Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto at 69.40 and Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman at 68.08.
American Bradie Tennell is fourth at 67.01 in the 19-year-old’s Grand Prix debut. Ashley Wagner is sixth and Karen Chen is ninth to round out U.S. skaters.
It was an otherwise strong day for the Americans. Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon finished 1-2 in the men’s competition to punch Final tickets, and ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani lead after the short dance.
2017 U.S. Champion Nathan Chen qualified for his second Grand Prix final by winning Skate America in Lake Placid, Nov. 25, despite a disappointing free skate.
In his Mao’s Last Dancer free skate, Chen started out strong, landing his opening combo of a quad lutz-triple toe, but then the program started to get away from him and he had difficulty with his other planned quadruple jumps. He stepped out of his quad flip, fell on a quad toe and managed only a double salchow instead of a planned quad. He landed his quad lutz, but then doubled the planned quad toe in a three jump combo that was supposed to be quad toe-loop/loop/triple salchow. Chen also singled his planned triple axel.
“I am very disappointed with today,” Chen said. “I am glad that I was able to qualify a spot for the Final. I definitely need to address all the problems that I had today and make sure that I’ll fix it for the future. I have to go back and re-evaluate what was going on.”
Congratulations to the #SkateAmerica Ice Dance podium 🇺🇸 #Shibsibs 🇮🇹 #CappelliniLanotte 🇷🇺 #SinitsinaKatsalapov
USA’s Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani defended their Skate America title in Lake Placid, New York, today, pocketing their second grand prix gold of the season. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy won the silver, while Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov earned the bronze.
Shibutani/Shibutani and Cappellini/Lanotte have now secured a spot at the upcoming 2017-18 Grand Prix Final, and will be joined by Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN), Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA), and Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA).
U.S. Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner abruptly stopped skating during her long program at Skate America on Sunday due to an ankle infection.
A three-time U.S. champion, Wagner was skating to music from Moulin Rouge when she stopped, had a word with her coach Rafael Arutunian and then skated over to the referee to explain why she couldn't continue. She was in sixth place after Saturday's short program.
"I have been off the ice for basically a week and a half," an emotional Wagner said during an interview on NBC. "I came here feeling I could mentally will myself through these programs and pretend I wasn't in pain.
"My focus is on nationals. I'm here to be national champion. I'm here to make it on that Olympic team."