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Nashville (United States) (AFP) – Three-time world champion Nathan Chen, one of the main contenders for gold next month at the Beijing Winter Olympics, won his sixth straight title at the US Figure Skating Championships on Sunday.
Chen earned a total of 328.01 points to take the overall victory after winning the free skating routine on the day with 212.62 points and set a record with 115.39 Saturday in the short program in Nashville, Tennessee.
“It was a really fun tournament,” Chen said. “The crowd was amazing. It was a great moment.”
Ilya Malinin, a 17-year-old who performed four jumps in his routine, was second overall with a score of 302.48 after scoring 199.02 to finish second in the free skating.
“I am very happy and surprised to get second place,” Malinin said. “My dream is definitely to go to the Olympics and I really think I deserve to go.”
For his part, Vincent Chu, the 2021 Skate America winner and sixth place at the 2018 Winter Olympics, finished third overall with a score of 290.16 after coming fourth in the free skating with a score of 177.38 and second in the Saturday program.
“The competition was very tough,” Chen said. “We have a great group of athletes and I am delighted to be part of this generation.”
A US selection committee will select American skaters to compete in Beijing 2022 next month, also considering performances at other events, but Chen’s trip is virtually certain.
22-year-old Chen placed fifth in the men’s competition at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, helping Team USA take bronze in the team event.
After losing the Olympics, Chen won the 2018 world title and started an unbeaten streak in all competitions that ended last October when he finished third at Skate America.
Chen set free skating records and netted the overall results in the 2019 Grand Prix Final to claim his third consecutive win in the event.
American Figure Skating Championships Public Podium:
1. Nathan Chen 328.01 points in total
2. Ilya Malinin 302.48
3. Vicente Zoo 290.16
© 2022 AFP
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