Milan / Italy

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Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA) grabbed the lead in the Men’s Short Program over Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada as competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships resumed Thursday. 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA) is currently ranked third.

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Nathan Chen (USA)

Performing to ‘Nemesis’ by Benjamin Clementine, Chen nailed a quad Lutz-triple toe, a quad flip and triple Axel and collected a level four for two spins and the step sequence. The U.S. Champion earned 101.94 points.

“I’m very happy with the way these World Championships started, especially after having two such rough short programs at Olympics. It’s been great to have the opportunity to try the short program again and I hope to redeem myself. Ultimately, I’m proud of what I did here,” Chen said. “I am just going into the free wanting to be as clean as possible. In terms of what I’m going to do, that is a conversation with my coach. Things can change, we still have a day in between, which gives me time to really think about it,” he continued.

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Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)

Kolyada’s program to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featured an excellent quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop, triple Lutz, triple Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork. The ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist scored 100.08 points.

“I did everything I planned to, we made the program a bit easier and I did it well, so I was pleased. I was in a fighting mood, it all felt good, I did everything I know how to and I did it well,” the two-time European Champion noted. “I will do the same content (in the Free Skating) as I did at the Olympics. In order to get to the podium, you should not think about making the podium, you just do your job,” he added.

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Vincent Zhou (USA)

Zhou landed a quad Lutz-triple toeloop, a quad flip and triple Axel in his routine to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol to post a personal best of 96.78 points.

“I came here to skate a clean program. I did just that, and being in the top three is the icing on the cake,” 17-year-old Zhou, the youngest man in the competition, shared. “It’s very important not to focus on placement, just on how I skate myself because that’s what I can control. In terms of quads I will keep it consistent with the Olympics. I’ve been training some good programs so I look forward to showing you that in the free.”

2017 World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) ranked fourth after underrotating his quad toe, but he completed a quad Lutz-triple toe combination (95.85 points). 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN), who battles an ankle injury, came fifth. He produced a quad toe and triple Axel, but reduced his combination to a shaky triple Salchow-double toe to score 94.26 points.

“Sadly, I am injured, but then I don’t feel any pain today so I didn’t know what was going to happen during the short program so I made the jumps a little bit easier. But with everyone’s support I think I did really well and, hopefully, we can keep this momentum going for the free program,” Uno said. Keegan Messing (CAN) placed sixth with a strong skate and 93.00 points.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 continue with the Pairs Free Skating.