LAS VEGAS: Even with an error at first of his free skate, Nathan Chen was unbeatable Sunday, successful his fifth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championship.
Not since Dick Button received every title from 1946-52 has any American man had such a streak of success. Throw in two world championships and being unbeaten since not medaling on the 2018 Olympics, and Chen already has a resume for the ages.
At age 21.
It’s unimaginable to attempt to observe in his footsteps, Chen mentioned of Button, a two-time Olympic winner.
Chen just about ignored the tough starting of his free skate, when he put his palms down and stepped out of a quad lutz. He hit 4 extra quads, three together, and a triple axel deep into his program. There was a fluidity to his choreography and spins, and his 322.28 factors have been unmatchable by anyone within the area.
I used to be a bit timid immediately. Honestly thats on me,” Chen mentioned. “I really feel like I didnt actually sort out my parts. I used to be specializing in conserving power. Thats not the precise method. I feel thats what brought about the primary factor to have an error. The remainder of this system I used to be attempting to ensure I stayed on my ft. That was my mindset all through this system.
“Wasnt actually precisely the skate Id prefer to have, however at the very least I used to be in a position to arise on all the remainder of the jumps and I assume transfer on from right here.
His most important challengers couldn’t arise all through their free skates, and Vincent Chou’s 291.38 whole wasn’t in the identical stratosphere as Chen. Chou popped a quad flip and fell on a quad lutz, however the 2018 Olympian nonetheless held on to second place.
Jason Brown, the ultimate competitor at these fan-less nationals on the Orleans Arena they have been moved from San Jose, California, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic stayed in third place at 276.92 factors.
Other winners at nationals, which could possibly be the final vital competitors of the season ought to worlds in March at Stockholm be canceled for the second straight 12 months, have been: Bradie Tennell along with her second girls’s title; Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue for his or her third ice dance championship; and Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier in pairs.
Knierim had received two titles with husband Chris, who retired earlier than this season, and Frazier had earned on with earlier companion Haven Denney.
AP Sports Writers Barry Wilner and Bernie Wilson contributed.