by Rebecca BAILEY
Agence France Presse
BEIJING, China (AFP) — Nathan Chen demolished the opposition to win Olympic determine skating gold in Beijing on Thursday, simply beating defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who fell twice and completed fourth.
The American three-time world champion lastly claimed the one main prize that had eluded him together with his total rating of 332.60, greater than 20 factors forward of his nearest challenger.
Chen held his nerve to attain 218.63 in his free programme, constructing on his record-breaking quick programme rating from Tuesday to win gold from 18-year-old Yuma Kagiyama. One other Japanese skater, Shoma Uno, took bronze.
“I by no means actually thought that I’d have the ability to make it this far in my profession,” stated the 22-year-old Chen.
“I’d all the time after all dreamed about making the Olympics and successful the Olympics, however I used to be like, I don’t know if I could make that occur. I haven’t actually had time to course of totally, however it’s wonderful to this point.”
Skating to “Rocket Man” by Elton John, Chen lived as much as his nickname “Quad King” in a routine by which he landed 5 quadruple jumps, to rapturous cheers from the gang.
Because the music died, Chen dropped his head again in aid.
Japanese icon Hanyu, who was chasing a 3rd gold in a row and seeking to cement his standing as the most effective skaters of all time, was in bother as he fell twice in his routine.
His free programme rating of 188.06 was far wanting his all-time better of 212.99.
“I believe I did all the things I might,” stated Hanyu, who solely arrived within the Chinese language capital on Sunday, two days earlier than competing.
“Actually, it seems like all the things has gone mistaken this time round, however I did my greatest.”
– ‘Hanyu greatest ever’ –
After a shaky begin on Tuesday within the quick programme, the place he completed eighth, the Olympic champion from the 2014 Sochi and 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics wanted to make up a niche of 18.82 factors to beat Chen.
Hanyu was visibly nervous earlier than he began — hanging off the rink’s edge, staring on the flooring, making the signal of the cross and audibly keying himself up simply earlier than he took his beginning place.
He tried a quadruple axel — a bounce no skater has ever landed in competitors however which he had insisted he would carry out on the Beijing Video games.
He didn’t land it and fell to the ice.
He rapidly rose however fell as soon as extra, earlier than carrying on his “Heaven and Earth” programme together with his traditional polished precision.
Wanting crushed because the music died down, 27-year-old Hanyu recovered and skated off the rink together with his head held excessive, the gang nonetheless cheering him.
Chen stated that it had been “an honour to have the ability to share the ice with Hanyu through the years.
“Once more, watching him once I was a child, I by no means even dreamed that I might have the ability to have the chance to even skate with him.
“So then to have the ability to compete in opposition to him… it’s simply been a very nice honour and he’s for my part the best skater ever.”
© Agence France-Presse