Nathan Chen wins title in ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating at Moscow

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-22 10:34:35|Editor: Xiang Bo
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MOSCOW, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nathan Chen of the United States held on to his lead following the short program to beat Olympic champion Yuzuzu Hanyu of Japan for the gold medal at the Moscow ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating on Saturday.

The bronze went to Russian champion Mikhail Kolyada.

Chen hit a quad Lutz-triple toe, quad flip, quad Salchow and quad toe-triple toe-double toe, but he stepped out of a triple Axel and popped a toeloop. The Four Continents champion scored a season's best 193.25 points to finish second in the Free Skating, but his total score of 293.75 points was enough to hold off Hanyu.

"The beginning half of my program I was very happy with," the 18-year-old U.S. champion said. "I hit all the quads and I think I did them relatively well. I got a little tired halfway through the program and started faltering a little bit, on the second quad toe - that was a big mistake. I can't let things like that happen in the future. But this is my first Grand Prix win and I'm very happy with that."

Hanyu opened his program to "Seimei" with his first quadruple Lutz in competition and reeled off a quad Salchow, quad toe-triple toe as well as two triple Axels. However, he tripled his planned quad loop and popped a planned quad toeloop into a double. The two-time and reigning world champion earned a season's best of 195.92 points for an overall total of 290.77.

"The most important thing is for me to rotate each jump, each combination," the Olympic champion said. "That made the three points difference. I realised once again how important it is to practise each element and to perform each element with care."

Kolyada produced a quad-triple toe combination and four clean triples in his Elvis Presley routine but missed two quads and a triple Lutz. Nevertheless, the European bronze medallist achieved a season's best with 185.27 points and pulled up from fourth to take his first Grand Prix medal with a total of 271.06 points.

"I fulfilled the minimum today - I did not pop anything," the 22-year-old from St. Petersburg said. "There were mistakes and I relaxed too much on the last jump but overall I enjoyed performing and I hope I was able to transmit the energy to the crowd."

In the ice dance competitions, Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani of the United States claimed their fifth ISU Grand Prix gold medal. Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin took silver and bronze respectively.

Shibutani/Shibutani delivered a smooth performance to "Paradise" by Coldplay, executing intricate yet seemingly effortless footwork and excellent twizzles.

The 2017 world bronze medallists collected a level four for the spin, twizzles and their lifts and to earn 111.94 points. Overall the brother-and-sister team accumulated 189.24 points.

"It's been really exciting for us to debut our two new programs at this competition," Maia Shibutani said. "Since the end of last season, we've been working extremely hard. Today the free went really well and we're proud of the work that we've put in and the potential that both of our programs have."

Bobrova/Soloviev's lyrical dance to "Oblivion" by Astor Piazzolla and "Beethoven's Five Secrets" was highlighted by difficult lifts and a level-four circular step sequence.

However, the Russian champions made a costly error on their spin when Soloviev put his foot down. The spin was rated only a level two. The 2013 European champions scored 108.41 points for their dance which added up to 184.74 points.

"The spin didn't work, too bad," Soloviev explained. "It is rather upsetting because we skated clean in practice and it is a regretful mistake that affected our program. It came out of nowhere."

Dancing to "Liebestraum", Stepanova/Bukin completed five level-four elements and achieved a new personal best with 108.03 points. Their total score of 179.35 points was a personal best as well.

"We're very pleased we were able to fix the mistakes from Finlandia Trophy in such a short period of time. We changed some things and made the program more comfortable for us," Stepanova said.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier from Canada remained fourth with 172.29 points and Charlene

Guignard/Marco Fabbri (Italy) came fifth on 171.37. The 2017 world junior champions Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (United States) finished seventh in their senior Grand Prix debut with 148.75 points.

The pairs' podium was swept by Russian combinations, with European champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov coming out on top. 2014 Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov had to settle for second place while Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogonov moved up from fourth to claim the bronze.

Tarasova/Morozov produced a quadruple twist, side-by-side triple toe-double toe combination, an excellent throw triple Salchow and level-four lifts in their program to "Candyman" to score a personal best of 147.37 points, which added up to 224.25 points overall.

"It went quite well and better than at our last competition," Morozov said. "Our program is a Boogie Woogie and we wanted to express that style. We watched dance performances and we enjoyed them."

Stolbova/Klimov had a shaky start to their "Carmen" routine when Stolbova stepped out of the throw triple flip and fell on the triple toe, but she recovered to land a side-by-side triple Salchow and strong lifts.

However, Stolbova went down again on the throw triple Salchow, the last element. The Russian champions picked up a season's-best 133.04 points and remained in second place with a total of 204.43 points.

"There were some parts in our program that worked well, others didn't," Klimov said. "Again, there were mistakes on the throw and the solo jump, but like yesterday I think they happened by chance and we will continue to work."