Nathan Chen tops men’s short program at World Team Trophy

Nathan Chen at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

In the third of eight events at the 2021 World Team Trophy, the American men delivered two important results to help the United States bring a strong challenge to a successful opening day by Russia.

Three-consecutive-time World champion Nathan Chen landed an opening quad flip and then a triple axel. Having originally planned to add a triple toe loop with the opening quad, the 21-year-old completed his routine with a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination instead, in order to ensure a higher score due to a second half bonus. The American earned a total score of 109.65 points and an important twelve points for the U.S.

Two-time Olympic and two-time World champion Yuzuru Hanyu landed his opening quad Salchow attempt and then a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination. Skating to Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams, the 26-year-old hung on to a difficult landing on the
triple axel. The Japanese legend received a season’s best total score of 107.12 points in front of his home country crowd.

The only skater in the men’s event not to attempt a quad jump, 2015 U.S. national champion Jason Brown began his short program with a triple flip and a clean triple axel. The 26-year-old landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and earned a short program score of 94.86 points. His result of ten points propped the U.S. into second place, within two points of Russia, in the overall team standings.

Four-time French national champion Kevin Aymoz landed his opening quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and then opted for a triple Lutz rather than another quad. The 23-year-old landed a triple axel and ended his performance with an energetic step sequence. He earned a total short program score of 94.69 points and placed fourth – the best result by a French participant on the first day of the competition.

2018 World bronze medalist and three-time Russian national champion Mikhail Kolyada landed his opening quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination. Skating to Let’s Get Loud by The Baseballs, the 26-year-old landed a triple axel and a triple Lutz. Alexei Mishin’s skater earned a total short program score of 93.42 points.

Last season’s Canadian national champion Roman Sadovsky began his short program performance with a quad Salchow and then a triple axel. Skating to Exogenesis: Symphony, the 21-year-old from Toronto landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and received a total segment score of 89.61 points.

Eighth at the World Championships less than three weeks ago, Russian Junior national champion Evgeni Semenenko landed an opening quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and then another quad – a Salchow. Skating to Gorod kotorgo net (English: The City Which Doesn’t Exist), the 17-year-old completed the triple axel attempt and earned a personal best total short program score of 88.86 points. Combined with Kolyada’s eight points for fifth place, Semenenko’s six points for seventh place importantly helped keep Russia in first place after the country’s weakest – as expected – event.

Three-time French national silver medalist Adam Siao Him Fa landed an opening quad toe loop-double toe loop combination and then stepped out on the landing of his quad Salchow attempt. Skating to music inspired by Star Wars, the 20-year-old unsuccessfully
completed his final triple axel attempt. He earned 78.28 points from the judges.

2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno struggled in his short program outing. He unsuccessfully attempted the opening quad flip and then fell on a quad toe loop – intended to be in a combination with a triple toe loop. He fought and managed to hang onto the landing of the triple axel. The 23-year-old Japanese figure skater earned a total short program score of 77.46 points.

Italy’s only participant in the men’s event following the withdrawal of Matteo Rizzo, 19-year-old Daniel Grassl painfully fell on his opening quad Lutz attempt. Skating to Dig Down by Muse, Grassl landed a quad flip and added a triple toe loop to make it a combination. Unfortunately, he then fell on a triple axel attempt. The three-time national champion received a score of 67.32 points.

2014 World Junior champion Nam Nguyen fell on his opening quad Salchow – intended to be in a combination with a triple toe loop. The two-time Canadian national champion then landed a triple axel and a triple flip-double toe loop combination. The 22-year-old from Ontario received a total segment score of 66.89 points.

Both of the Canadian representatives did not participate at the World Championships almost three weeks ago. They were assigned to the World Team Trophy because of Canada’s mandatory two-week quarantine – meaning none of the Canadian athletes from the World team were able to travel to Japan.

Men’s short program results:

  1. Nathan Chen (United States) – 109.65 (12 points)
  2. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) – 107.12 (11 points)
  3. Jason Brown (United States) – 94.86 (10 points)
  4. Kevin Aymoz (France) – 94.69 (9 points)
  5. Mikhail Kolyada (Russia) – 93.42 (8 points)
  6. Roman Sadovsky (Canada) – 89.61 (7 points)
  7. Evgeni Semenenko (Russia) – 88.86 (6 points)
  8. Adam Siao Him Fa (France) – 78.28 (5 points)
  9. Shoma Uno (Japan) – 77.46 (4 points)
  10. Daniel Grassl (Italy) – 67.32 (3 points)
  11. Nam Nguyen (Canada) – 66.89 (2 points)

Team standings after 3 of 8 events:

  1. Russia – 49
  2. United States – 47
  3. Japan – 42
  4. France – 26
  5. Italy – 25
  6. Canada – 23

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