Anaheim, CA/USA

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Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan rallied in the Free Skating, coming from fourth place to strike gold in the Men’s event at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Anaheim (USA) Saturday. Defending champion Boyang Jin of China this time earned the silver medal. USA’s Vincent Zhou took the bronze, his first ISU Championship medal at senior level.

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Shoma Uno skates to his first senior ISU Championship medal 2019©MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Uno was drawn to skate first in the last flight and set the tone for an exciting final. Skating to “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven, the World silver medalist opened with a quad flip and quad toeloop followed by a triple loop, quad toe-double toe, two triple Axels and two more clean triples. The only glitch came when he stepped out of a triple flip.

At the end, Uno collapsed onto the ice and remained kneeling for a few seconds before getting up and acknowledging the crowd. The Japanese Champion collected a level four for his spins and footwork. He posted a season's best with 197.36 points and racked up 289.12 points overall to win his first ISU Championship title at the senior level.

There weren’t a lot of happy emotions when I collapsed, it was like ‘I really did it’,” the 21-year-old said. “I thought about how I was injured after the Nationals and how I can bring it (my skating) to the next level.

I don’t want to be caught up with rankings, but I am very happy with how I did with the program and to score first place. It was my first big medal at the senior level. For Worlds, I want to practice more and win the World title.” 

GettyImages 1096976776 Boyang Jin jumped from overall third to second place thanks to his Free Skate 2019©MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Jin laid down a strong performance of his Flamenco-themed routine to “Hable con ella” by Alberto Iglesias, hitting two quadruple toeloops and six clean triples including two Axels. He only stepped out of his opening quadruple Lutz.

The two-time World bronze medalist set a season’s best with 181.34 points and pulled up second at 273.51 points. “Overall I did quite well, but there were little mistakes in both programs,” the Chinese Champion said. “Before the Worlds I wanted to pull out a better performance here, so I am a little frustrated I wasn’t able to do what I’ve done in practice.”

Zhou’s kung-fu inspired routine to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” by Tan Dun featured a quad Lutz-triple toeloop combination (but he underrotated the toe) as well as five more triples, but he wobbled on a triple Axel and underrotated the quad Salchow and quad toeloop.

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Vincent Zhou glides to bronze in Anaheim 2019©MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The 2017 World Junior Champion ranked fifth in the long program with 172.04 and slipped from first to third at 272.22 points. “I am very proud of myself at this competition for continuing the upward trend I put myself on,” the U.S. silver medalist said. “I’m looking forward to the next month of training for Worlds and to continue to improve the consistency.

“I expect myself to improve even more. I really want my skating to be something that everyone can enjoy, watch because they love watching good skating, freedom on the ice, and that’s what I hope to show at the Worlds and in competitions after that.”

Keegan Messing (CAN) placed third in the Free Skating to move up one spot to fourth on 267.61 points. 2018 Four Continents bronze medalist Jason Brown (USA) finished fifth on 258.89 points while Junhwan Cha (KOR) dropped from second to sixth after underrotating five jumps (255.83 points).

Click on the highlighted text for entry listsfull results and the official event website. Follow the discussion on social media using #4ContsFigure and #FigureSkating.