Chen takes gold in men’s figure skating as Hanyu disappoints
Beijing, Feb 10 (EFE).- The USA’s Nathan Chen delivered the gold medal in the men’s singles figure skating after the free program event on Thursday in Beijing.
As in the short program on Tuesday, Chen, to the rhythm of “Rocket Man” by Elton John, excelled both technically and artistically, earning him an accumulated 332.60 points, well above Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama (310.05) and Shoma Uno (293), who won the silver and bronze, respectively.
Thanks to his immaculate quadruple jumps, the 22-year-old Chen, who entered the competition as heavy favorite to win, made amends for his performance at the last Pyeongchang Games, when he finished in fifth, outside the medal places.
At only 18 years of age, Yuma Kagiyama has established himself as one of the great skating stars of Japan, which, despite having two competitors make the podium, was left disappointed that its favorite and Chen’s main rival, Yuzura Hanyu, failed to take gold.
Hanyu was aiming to become the first man to win gold in three consecutive Games since Sweden’s Gillis Grafstrom in 1928.
But his poor performance in the short program last Tuesday, when he had to settle for eighth place, took its toll on him.
On Thursday, he had another shaky start that led to two falls, although he managed to recover and finish thanks to the clean technical execution of his jumps, with a deserved accumulated 283.21 points that saw him finish in fourth.
Hanyu tried to complete the coveted quadruple axel in an official competition, but was unable to do so, like all those who have tried so far.
He was followed by South Korea’s Cha Jun-hwan (282.22), who achieved his personal best, and USA’s Jason Brown (281.24), whose performance, accompanied by the soundtrack of “Schindler’s List”, was praised by local commentators and judges for its beauty. EFE