Pyeongchang 2018

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Chen completes incredible journey to claim first world title

After early despair at PyeongChang, Nathan Chen has fought his way back to become world champion.

Having led after the short program in Milan, Chen just needed a clean free skate to stay ahead of his rivals.

The 18-year-old did a whole lot more than that.

Chen landed five quads out of a planned five and threw in an extra quad for a personal best free skate and a convincing victory.

Comeback king

Chen went into PyeongChang with high hopes but a nightmare short program left him down in 17th place.

Inspired by a tweet from Olympic gymnastics hero Simone Biles, Chen went for broke.

His quad-fest earned him the highest score in the free skate, better than gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu.

In Italy, it was a different story.

A fine short program left him in the lead.

And some indifferent free skates from his rivals left him in the box seat.

Japan’s Olympic silver medallist Shoma Uno, in fifth place after struggling with an ankle injury, fell on his first two quad attempts.

Uno went into the lead and stayed there as China’s Jin Boyang and Russian Mikhail Kolyada both faltered.

That left just the two Americans, Vincent Zhou and Chen, to go.

Zhou started well but then he struggled badly, falling four times to drop outside the top 10.

Personal best

Chen needed 171.84, more than 40 points below his score in PyeongChang, to claim his first world title.

He nailed a quad lutz early on and two more perfectly-executed quad jumps quickly followed.

While the execution of his jumps became less precise as the routine progressed, he made all of his quads including a bonus sixth.

His score of 219.46 was a new personal best and 40 points clear of Uno’s effort.

And his total of 321.40 was another huge personal record and ensured a winning margin of over 47 points.

Uno took his second silver medal in the space of five weeks with Kolyada claiming the bronze.

But it was Chen who will deservedly take the headlines.


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