China’s Boyang Jin jumped his way to gold as the ISU Four Continents Championships 2018 concluded with the Men’s Free Skating Saturday in Taipei. World silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan earned the silver medal and Jason Brown (USA) rose from fourth to take the bronze.
Jin was flying high in his routine to “Star Wars”, reeling off a huge quadruple Lutz, quad Salchow, triple Axel-single loop-triple Salchow combination, a quad toe-double toe, a quad toe, another triple Axel and a triple flip. The only glitch came when the two-time World bronze medalist stumbled on a triple Lutz-double toe combination.
Jin, who missed last month's ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with foot injuries, picked up a level four for his three spins and the footwork to score 200.78 points. He racked up 300.95 points overall to take his first ISU Championship title.
“After I withdrew from the Grand Prix Final I worked really hard on my recovery and I trained the hardest I ever have. Thanks to that I was able to give an almost perfect performance today. The result of this competition gives me confidence to challenge myself to give two perfect performances in Pyeongchang (Olympic Games),” Jin said.
Skating to “Turandot”, Uno produced a quad toe-double toe and quad toe, as well as six triples including two triple Axels, but he underrotated a quad loop and fell on a quad flip. The 2017 Four Continents bronze medalist scored 197.45 points and totaled 297.94 points to slip to second place.
“Unfortunately I missed my quad flip, but the good part was that I kept calm and finished the program nicely. I didn’t do my best today, but I still think the practice was not a waste. I would like to be more confident and take it to the next competition,” Uno said.
Brown delivered an elegant performance to “The Scent of Love” from “The Piano” soundtrack that featured a triple Axel-triple toe and five more clean triples as well as excellent spins and footwork. The former U.S. Champion posted a season's best with 179.44 points and collected 269.22 points overall to earn his first senior-level ISU Championship medal.
“Nothing was easy about this year. I felt that I was chasing something - in this case it was kind of chasing the quad. That wasn’t who I am," the 23-year-old said.
"I think by the end of the season I was done running, I was done chasing after that and I wanted to come to this event and strip out of that shell and be me, and be proud of what I am. This is what I did at this event. I was owning who I was and performing my heart out and trying to be the best version of myself that I possibly could be.”
Keiji Tanaka (JPN) dropped from third to fourth on 260.31 points after popping a planned quad Salchow into a triple and doubling a triple Axel. Max Aaron (USA) climbed from sixth to fifth with a solid skate (255.45 points) while Misha Ge (UZB) moved up from eighth to sixth on 248.96 points.