Everett, USA

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GPFS Everett Nathan Chan USA 2018 CREDIT ISU 1052574516 

Nathan Chen (USA)  2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

World champion Nathan Chen (USA) ruled in the Men’s Short Program, taking the lead with a little over eight points to spare ahead of Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina. Julian Zhi Jie Yee of Malaysia upset several well-known competitors to place third in his Grand Prix debut.

Chen opened his program to “Caravan” by Duke Ellington with an excellent triple Axel, but then stepped out of an underrotated quad flip. He continued with a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and collected a level four for two spins. The reigning world champion scored 90.58 points. “I think this was a good start to my season for the short program. Definitely, it wasn’t the best in terms of the technical elements, but the performance was pretty good, so a lot to build on,” the 19-year-old Yale student said.

GPFS Michal Brezina CZE 2018 CREDIT ISU 1052575060

Michal Brezina (CZE) 2018 ©International Skating Union (ISU)

Brezina’s performance to “Who Wants to Live Forever” was highlighted by a quad Salchow-triple toe combination and a triple Axel as well as precise spins, but he singled the flip. The 2013 European silver medallist picked up 82.09 points to edge Yee. “I started in Salt Lake City (as the first competition). It was a bit of a step up for me, except for that beautiful single flip. Other than that, I felt pretty good. It was better than what I’ve been used to from the previous years,” Brezina told the post-event press conference.

GPFS Everett Julian Zhi Jie MAS 2018 CREDIT Lindsey Wasson Getty Image 1052574798

Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS) 2018 ©Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Yee, who is the first skater from Malaysia to compete in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, nailed a quad Salchow, triple Axel and triple flip-triple toe in his program to “To Build a Home”. He posted a personal best of 81.52 points. “For me, I’m lucky to be invited to the Grand Prix for the first time and having the short program of my life in my first Grand Prix is really great. It’s very unexpected, that’s for sure. Hopefully I’ll do just as well in the free,” the 21-year-old said.

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Finalist Sergei Voronov (RUS) is currently ranked fourth at 78.18 points. 2018 world junior bronze medallist Matteo Rizzo (ITA) finished fifth (78.09 points) and 2017 world junior champion Vincent Zhou (USA) rounds up the top six (76.38 points).