American Josh Farris earned silver at the Four Continents Championships on Saturday, following personal international bests in both his short program and free skate in Seoul.
Kazakhstan Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten won the competition, the biggest event before March’s World Championships, by a massive 29.45 points over Farris. China’s Han Yan snagged bronze.
U.S. champion Jason Brown was sixth. U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon was 10th.
Farris, the 2013 World junior champion, was a surprise bronze medalist at the U.S. Championships last month and now may enter the World Championships — his debut at the event — as the top U.S. hope to win its first men’s medal since 2009.
He looked up and yelled after finishing his free skate that included a quadruple toe loop. Farris, 20, was astonished at his score — 175.72 for the free skate and 260.01 overall.
“I felt very nervous, I was shaking all day,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “But once I got out there, I turned those nerves into determination. It worked. I can’t believe it. I’m pretty proud of myself for that. Last year, I would have let those nerves take control of me and I didn’t let that happen.”
Placing that high at the World Championships in Shanghai will be a much taller ask. Four Continents did not include the top four finishers from the Grand Prix Final in December — Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, Spain’s Javier Fernandez and Russia’s Sergey Voronov and Maksim Kovtun.
“I didn’t skate perfect here, and I don’t think I have peaked yet,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m saving my best performances for the World Championships.”
The U.S. champion Brown improved from ninth after the short program to finish sixth. Brown attempted a quadruple toe loop in his short program Thursday, two-footed the landing and did not attempt a quad in the free skate.
“It’s something my coach and I are going to go over after we leave Seoul,” Brown said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “We’ll weigh the options. I have five weeks and time to continue to practice and integrate it into the program [before Worlds]. It’s up the air, and we’ll see once I get back home.”
Rippon fell on his quadruple Lutz attempt in his free skate after putting his hands down on the landing of the jump in the short program.
“I know that [coach] Rafael [Arutyunyan] is going to kick my butt when I get home so I don’t make any mistakes when we go to Words,” Rippon said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.
Earlier in pairs, U.S. champions Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim finished fifth behind Canadian winners Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.
The Four Continents Championships finish with the women’s free skate Sunday, including Gracie Gold.