Nathan Chen has the US determine skaters off to a pointy begin within the staff competitors on the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The three-time reigning males’s world champion posted one of the best rating within the brief program Friday to guide Workforce USA to an early first-place lead, two factors forward of the favored Russian Olympic Committee squad and China, the host nation.
Chen, 22, completed a disappointing fourth within the brief program in 2018’s staff occasion in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the place the American squad received a bronze medal.
“It feels nice to have the ability to have a brief program that I really skated properly, at an Olympic expertise,” Chen mentioned, according to USA Today. “As we’ve seen since 2018, even when somebody doesn’t have one of the best skate, we’ve got an extremely robust staff to again us all up.
“That’s actually the case this time round. I’m pleased I did my half and skated nearly as good as I can.”
The Utah native landed two quadruple jumps and a triple axel in a clear program to submit a rating of 111.71, the very best registered in males’s worldwide competitors this season, and properly forward of reigning Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue additionally completed first within the rhythm dance, whereas the pairs staff of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier posted a powerful, third-place brief program.
The ladies’s brief program is slated for Sunday, with the top-five scoring nations advancing to the free-skates portion earlier than medals will probably be determined Monday evening.
“We are able to stroll away with a medal for positive. What coloration? It’s exhausting to say,” mentioned Chen, who’s the gold medal favourite within the particular person occasion. “However I think about my teammates, and I do know they’re going to do one of the best they will do.”
Comply with all of the 2022 Olympics motion
Chen didn’t anticipate to take part in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday resulting from COVID-19 issues, saying, “I already did it as soon as, and (it will likely be) shut proximity with lots of people. I’m positive it will likely be protected, however I compete in a pair extra days, so at this level, (I’ll simply) deal with that.”
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