Chen shakes off short program disaster with dazzling performance

Marsha Scott
February 18, 2018

A multiple exposure image shows a portion of the free skate by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, the first man to repeat as Olympics figure skating champion since 1952. He held off countryman Shoma Uno, who won silver, and Spain's Javier Fernandez, who took bronze, in Saturday's free skate in Pyeongchang.

Fernandez shares the same coach, Brian Orser, with Hanyu.

American Nathan Chen surged from a fiasco of a short program, when he was 17th, by winning the free skate to wind up fifth overall.

Hanyu performed strongly to post 206.17 points in today's free skating at the Gangneung Ice Arena, giving him a total score of 317.85.

"I just need to go over everything I did well and wrong", he said, via E. Jay Zarett of NBC Sports.

After crowd-pleasing performances from teammates Adam Rippon and Vincent Zhou, the 18-year-old Chen failed to cleanly land a single jump in his high-flying short program.

Chen made a decision to add the sixth quad to his planned routine (even without consulting his coach first) shortly before he took the ice.

The performance came after Chen faltered in his earlier Olympic appearances.

After repeatedly saying that the Olympics were just another competition for him prior to his short skate on Friday, Chen - taking part in his first Olympics - ruefully admitted that the expectations and the occasion got the best of him.

All three men from Team USA finished inside the top 10.

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"It was sort of an anger thing". If I make a couple of mistakes in long, so be it. "I know I didn't do the ideal programme, but I was satisfied with what I did", Fernandez told reporters.

Nathan said that his poor performance in the Free Skate is what pushed him to attempt the six quad feat.

That became evident when Chen struggled through his short program as part of the team event, which still helped the USA win the bronze medal.

"But at the same time, have fun and show everybody, who I am".

In figure skating, Japan's Hanyu topped the men's competition with a thrilling short programme, dispelling fears that an ankle injury which has kept him out of competition since November would dent his title chances.

It would take until Boyang Jin competed as skater No. 20 of 24, to break the lock Chen had on first place.

"That just tightened me up and made me really cautious out on the ice, and that's not the right way to skate". "I was really disappointed at the start, but being able to end it like this was really something". "I mean, I thought I did everything right in terms of my general approach going into this".

Uno, third after the short program, is unable to land his first toe loop but regroups to finish strongly. "I was thinking that after the first run, but I think it was me making an excuse", said Shiffrin, one of the biggest names at the Games.

"They usually say that like, after the Olympic Games, somebody's life changes forever", Rippon said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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