US skater Chen edges Japan’s Uno to win Grand Prix Final
NAGOYA, Japan (AP) Nathan Chen held on to his lead from the short program to edge Shoma Uno and win the figure skating Grand Prix Final on Friday.
Skating to ”Mao’s Last Dancer,” Chen landed three of five attempted quad jumps in his free program.
Uno, two points behind Chen after the short program on Thursday, won the free skate but it wasn’t enough to overtake Chen, who finished a half point ahead with a total of 286.51 points.
Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada was third with 282.00.
The gold was an upgrade on the silver Chen won last year in his debut senior season.
”Last year, I wasn’t event expecting to be at the Grand Prix Final so it’s an honor to win it this year,” he said.
Last year’s winner and Olympic champion, Yuzuru Hanyu, didn’t compete because he’s recovering from a leg injury in practice last month. He’s the favorite two months out from the Pyeongchang Olympics, which Chen still has to qualify for. To go to South Korea, he has to place in the top three in the U.S. championships in the first week of January.
”I’m excited that this is an Olympic season,” Chen said. ”Making the Olympic team is first on my `To do’ list.”
Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada landed all of her jumps cleanly and led after the women’s short program with 77.04 points.
World junior champion Alina Zagitova of Russia stepped out of the landing on her triple flip and was second on 76.27.
Satoko Miyahara of Japan was third with 74.61.
”I really felt controlled and I felt the program was really myself,” said Osmond, a bronze medalist at the Internationaux de France. ”I really wanted to get another clean program done, because not having a clean program in France really upset me.”
The Grand Prix Final concludes on Saturday with the ice dance and women’s free skate.