U.S. Enters Team Skating Finals in Medal Position at Beijing Olympics

After the second of three days of competitors, U.S. ice skaters are on monitor to achieve the medal podium in group skating on the Beijing Winter Olympics. Whereas gold could also be a problem, silver is inside attain.

Workforce USA led the sphere after a formidable first day of competitors on Friday, with private finest scores from all of the skaters who competed—Nathan Chen within the males’s occasion, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue in ice dance, and Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier in pairs. The U.S. now sits in second behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) after stable however imperfect performances within the girls’s quick program and males’s free program on day two.
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The occasion Sunday began with the final of the quick applications, which function the qualifier within the group occasion.

READ MORE: Your Full Information to Determine Skating on the Beijing Olympics

For the U.S., Karen Chen, who skated second to final, fell on her triple loop soar, which led to an automated one-point deduction, and the second soar of her triple-triple soar mixture was dominated under-rotated, which shaved extra factors off her rating. “There have been some optimistic takeaways for positive, after which some issues that have been foolish errors that I haven’t been making in observe,” she stated afterward. “My practices have been feeling actually stable however right now, as soon as I spotted I’m competing, it felt just a little bit totally different.” Chen, the 2017 nationwide champion and the present U.S. nationwide silver medalist, competed within the 2018 Olympics, nonetheless, she didn’t skate within the group occasion and completed 11th within the particular person competitors.

ROC’s Kamila Valieva was the ultimate skater to take to the ice, and the skater who has been, and can proceed to be the discuss of the skating occasions in Beijing. The 15-year outdated Russian nationwide champion lived as much as all the expectations constructing round her record-setting season. She executed a superbly balanced quick program, which highlighted her elegant and balletic strains in addition to her technical prowess with a textbook triple Axel, a triple flip and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop soar mixture. Her rating of 90.18 didn’t break her earlier file, 90.45, which she set in January on the European Championships, nevertheless it was greater than sufficient to win the ladies’s quick program, incomes the ROC 10 factors within the group competitors. Valieva appeared emotional whereas taking her bows, and stated that she was skating for her grandmother, who not too long ago handed away. “I feel that feeling acquired to me,” she stated.

Chen completed fifth and earned the U.S. six factors, whereas Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi positioned second, and Canada’s new nationwide champion Madeline Schizas positioned third.

That meant that ROC, the U.S., Japan, Canada and China moved on to the finals, which started simply hours later with the lads’s free skate program.

Figure Skating - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 2
Catherine Ivill–Getty PhotosVincent Zhou of Workforce USA skates through the Males’s Single Skating Free Skating Workforce Occasion on day two of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Video games at Capital Indoor Stadium on Feb. 6, 2022 in Beijing.

The U.S. chosen Vincent Zhou, whereas the ROC selected nationwide and European champion Mark Kondratiuk, and Japan went with 18-year outdated Yuma Kagiyama, competing at this primary Olympics.

Kondratiuk was the primary among the many trio to skate, and downgraded just a few jumps however landed three quadruple jumps, one in a mix.

Kagiyama answered with 4 cleanly landed quads of his personal, scoring 208.94, the primary to interrupt 200 through the occasion. The youngest member of the Japanese males’s squad, Kagiyama is coached by his father and impressed not simply along with his technical abilities, but additionally with the way in which he executed them, garnering the very best rating of the occasion for program elements, which evaluates skaters for the standard of their components.

Zhou, the final to skate, was the one competitor planning 5 quadruple jumps; he popped out of 1, and misplaced extra factors after his quad Salchow and the quad toe loop have been underneath rotated. Zhou’s rating of 171.44 put him in third, behind Kagiyama and Kondratiuk.

That places ROC in first, the U.S. in second and Japan third going into the final day of competitors which begins at 9:15 a.m. Monday Beijing time/8:15 p.m. Sunday ET. The ladies, pairs and ice dance groups will compete with their free applications.

These occasions are the ROC’s strongest, and the U.S. wants clear applications to carry its place behind the Russians. Just one American girl, Alysa Liu, features a triple axel in her free program, however Liu hasn’t landed it constantly this season and was pressured to withdraw from the U.S. nationals in January after testing optimistic for COVID-19, so hasn’t had the skating expertise that may assist going into an Olympic occasion. And Japan additionally has a powerful girls’s squad and a possible spoiler with its pairs group of Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara. Groups can substitute two skaters within the finals; Zhou was one, as an alternative to Chen on the U.S. group, which suggests the Individuals have yet another substitution obtainable to them earlier than the third and last day of competitors.


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