Vincent Zhou leads after short program at 2021 Skate America

Vincent Zhou at the 2021 Skate America in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

The first stage of the 2021-2022 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix Series began this week in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. – the 2021 Skate America. After the short program, 2019 World bronze medalist Vincent Zhou took the lead of the men’s event ahead of second-placed 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno and three-time World champion Nathan Chen who is in fourth position.

Zhou opened his routine with a successful quad Lutz-triple toe loop combination, later completing a quad Salchow and a triple axel. The latter two jumps received small negative grades of execution. Skating to Vincent by Josh Groban, the 20-year-old three-time United States national silver medalist got the third-best program component score (42.65 points) – but also, the highest element score which propped him to the overall lead. He received a score of 97.43 points for his performance.

Two-time World silver medalist and four-time Japanese national champion Uno only doubled his short program starting flip attempt, but subsequently successfully landed a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a triple axel. Skating to Oboe Concerto by Alessandro Marcello, the 23-year-old figure skater received the highest program component score among all of the men (44.78 points) and earned a total short program score of 89.07 points.

26-year-old American representative Jimmy Ma already has two medals in his first two competitions of the 2021-2022 season – having won silver at both the Cranberry Cup and the U.S. Classic – and finds himself in a podium position after the short program at Skate America. The 26-year-old from New York was the only skater to receive only positive grades of execution in his short program routine and successfully landed a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination, a triple Lutz, and a triple axel. Ma received a score of 84.52 points for his presentation.

Top favorite at the competition and possibly the main favorite to claim gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Nathan Chen finds himself in fourth place after the short program. The 22-year-old figure skater fell on his opening quad Lutz attempt but completed a triple axel; however, he uncharacteristically struggled on his combination – managing to complete a quad flip but then only a single toe loop. Skating to music by Benjamin Clementine, Chen earned the second highest program component score (44.17 points) and received a score of 82.89 points for his performance.

Results after short program:

  1. Vincent ZHOU (USA) – 97.43
  2. Shoma UNO (JPN) – 89.07
  3. Jimmy MA (USA) – 84.52
  4. Nathan CHEN (USA) – 82.89
  5. Shun SATO (JPN) – 80.52
  6. Michal BREZINA (CZE) – 75.43
  7. Nam NGUYEN (CAN) – 74.32
  8. Daniel GRASSL (ITA) – 70.88
  9. Artur DANIELIAN (RUS) – 68.74
  10. Adam SIAO HIM FA (FRA) – 67.60
  11. Kevin AYMOZ (FRA) – 58.14

Judges’ Scores

Pairs; results after short program:

  1. Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV (RUS) – 80.36
  2. Aleksandra BOIKOVA / Dmitrii KOZLOVSKII (RUS) – 75.43
  3. Riku MIURA / Ryuichi KIHARA (JPN) – 72.63
  4. Jessica CALALANG / Brian JOHNSON (USA) – 68.87
  5. Alexa KNIERIM / Brandon FRAZIER (USA) – 66.37
  6. Alina PEPELEVA / Roman PLESHKOV (RUS) – 64.15
  7. Chelsea LIU / Danny O’SHEA (USA) – 60.16
  8. Evelyn WALSH / Trennt MICHAUD (CAN) – 54.03

Judges’ Scores

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