Nathan Chen dazzles with big jumps to win US nationals
SAN JOSE, Calif. /January 6, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Nathan Chen dazzled once again with his remarkable athleticism to pull off breathtaking quadruple jumps, skating the final routine to a commanding U.S. national championship Saturday night.
Chen, 18, all but secured his spot for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics.
With improved poise and style, not to mention his new Vera Wang costumes, Chen completed five quads to beat second-place Ross Miner with a total score of 315.23 — a startling 40.72-point lead that set him completely apart.
And Chen is considered the Americans’ best medal hopeful if he is chosen for the team. Now, the U.S. Figure Skating selection committee will consider body of work to decide on the three skaters to represent next month in South Korea.
Vincent Zhou, another prodigious jumper, was third.
Crowd-pleasing Miner skated a near-flawless routine to a Queen medley and had SAP Center rocking and clapping along. He pumped his right fist after a double axel that made for a clean, lighthearted program in which he had fully got into his music for all to appreciate. The 26-year-old Miner earned a standing ovation, and beamed while putting his hand to his heart in appreciation. He scored 185.60 for a 274.51 total.