Four Continents champion Nathan Chen (USA) held on to first place in what was a dramatic Men’s Free Skating event at Bridgestone Skate America in Lake Placid on Saturday. Adam Rippon (USA) took the silver medal and the bronze went to Russia’s Sergei Voronov. All three qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Chen landed a quad Lutz-triple Lutz and another quad Lutz in his program to ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ and ‘Sacre du printemps’, but made several mistakes on other jumps, including falling on a quad flip and doubling jumps.
He was ranked second in the Free Skating with 171.76 points and remained in first place overall on 275.88 points.
“I am very disappointed with today,” Chen said. “I am glad that I was able to qualify a spot for the Final. I definitely need to address all the problems that I had today and make sure that I’ll fix it for the future. I have to go back and re-evaluate what was going on.”
Rippon’s routine to ‘The Arrival of the Birds’ and ‘O’ featured two triple Axels, a triple flip-triple loop combination as well as six triples, two level-four spins and level-four steps.
His only mistake came when he almost fell on a downgraded quad Lutz. He dislocated his right shoulder on that fall but was able to pop it back in and continue.
The NHK Trophy silver medalist won the Free Skating with 177.41 and racked up 266.45 points overall.
“I am happy that I was able to get through my performance today,” the 2016 United States champion said.
“I dislocated my shoulder on the first jump. But you know what, I love drama and so I said, ‘I can make it through this’. I wanted to show my character, that I’m really tough and that I’m up for the challenge of anything, including the Olympic Games.”
Skating to ‘Sarabande Suite’, Voronov hit a quad toe-triple toe, another, albeit shaky, quad toe and four triples, but almost fell on a triple Axel.
The two-time Russian champion earned 169.98 points for the Free Skating for a total of 266.45 points.
“It was not easy,” the 30-year-old said. “I noticed that something had happened, there was a delay and I only can wish Daniel Samohin a quick recovery. It was a distraction, but I was able to deal with the difficulties and I’m looking forward to the Grand Prix Final.”
World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) came fourth on 246.03 and also made it to the Grand Prix Final as the sixth and last qualifier. Han Yan (CHN) finished fifth (228.33 points) and Ross Miner (USA) completed the top six (219.62 points).
Bridgestone Skate America is the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December.
The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$ 272,000.
Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here. Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.