SAITAMA, Japan, March 21 (Xinhua) -- American Nathan Chen led the men's short program at the 2019 ISU Figure Skating World Championships here on Thursday, while home favorite Yuzuru Hanyu ranked third. China's Jin Boyang settled for ninth.
Chen, defending champion at the Worlds, delivered a clean short program, landing a triple Axel, quad flip, and quad toeloop triple toeloop. The All-American champion earned a stunning 107.40 points. His compatriot, Jason Brown, came second in 96.81.
Hanyu, double Olympic champion, just came back from a foot injury. Dancing to the music of Otonal by Raul di Blasio, Hanyu popped his quad salchow, but perfectly landed a triple Axel, quad toeloop triple toeloop, and level four spins and sequence. He scored 94.87 to take the third.
The two-time world champion expressed his disappointment: "I'm just really feeling a little nervous for my skating. I'm trying to get more confidence for my long program. I feel really frustrated for this performance.
"Just my mistakes, I need to focus on this competition and this feeling is clearly a special moment for only this competition.
"I'm very disappointed with my short program, I made a very big mistake so I aim to reflect on that and figure out what I can do better for my free skate. I will look at everything I can do to improve upon my performance."
Asked about his popped quad Salchow, which he fell on during warm-ups, he added: "To be honest, I probably thought too much about it, I was thinking too much about it, and the fact that it didn't go well during the six-minute practice was maybe also a factor.
"I couldn't really find the right space for me to try that jump and I think I shouldn't really have held back that much. I think I should have had more confidence and assumed a feeling of being more like the champion and gone in appropriately."
Brown was very happy with his second place. "I've been working so, so, so hard at home and putting in hours and the time and working so hard to work on all the changes that we've been making throughout the season, so to be at the World Championships and get a personal best and put out that performance, I'm just super, super pleased," he said.
China's Jin, two-time world bronze medallist, slipped in his quad lutz and only scored 84.26.
"I was too confident," said Jin. "I had landed this quad very well for many times since the Four Continents. So I didn't use too much strength when I was landing. It's my fault."
Considering the free skate on Saturday, Jin said:"It will be my last program this season and I hope I can give the season a good ending."