Patrick Chan wins Four Continents Championship with personal best

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Three-time World champion Patrick Chan of Canada produced a personal-best score to win the Four Continents championship, edging China’s Jin Boyang, who became the first skater to complete four quadruple jumps in one free skating program in international competition.

Chan, fifth after the short program, received 203.99 points in Sunday’s free skate to finish with a total of 290.21, less than one point ahead of short-program leader Jin. Chinese skater Han Yan was third with 271.55.

“I didn’t panic,” Chan said. “I took my time and kept focused on the things that make me successful in practice and competition, and today is a result of that.”

Skating last in the group, Chan opened his routine with a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and nailed two triple Axels as well as another quad toe loop.

It was Chan’s third win at the Four Continents, adding to titles in 2009 and 2012. His win will be a boost for his confidence heading to the March 28-April 3 World Championships in Boston.

After taking a year off, Chan appears to have regained the form that allowed him to win three worlds from 2011 to 2013.

“I feel like all the work and stress has paid off,” Chan said. “It all came out in this program as it’s supposed to be. This year has been so successful for the first year back. We’ve definitely exceeded expectations.”

With a quad Lutz, quad Salchow and two quad toe loops, Jin is the first skater to land three kinds of quadruple jumps in one program.

“I performed quite well, and I landed all the quads,” Jin said. “I did them before at the national Winter Games, and it gave me confidence for this competition. But the quality of the jumps was not as good as today.”

Skate America champion Max Aaron of the United States was seventh followed by compatriot Grant Hochstein in eighth.

The International Skating Union’s Four Continents championships feature skaters from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

MORE: Gracie Gold misses Four Continents podium

No medal for David Boudia as China extends perfect run at diving worlds

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David Boudia is very much a work in progress in his first year as a springboard diver. That much was evident in his dive list for Thursday’s final at the world championships, where Boudia had the lowest total degree of difficulty.

Boudia, a four-time Olympic platform medalist who earned individual platform silver at his last three world championships, took fifth in the springboard final in Gwangju, South Korea while performing easier dives than the other 11 men.

It marked Boudia’s first major international meet since Rio. He took 2017 off from diving to sell homes. In February 2018, he suffered a concussion on a badly missed dive in training off the 10-meter platform, sparking the switch to springboard, a common move for divers late in their careers.

Boudia will spend the next year — the next six months in particular — trying to close the gap on the medalists. China’s Xie Siyi and Cao Yuan went one-two.

Great Britain’s Jack Laugher was in position to become the first non-Chinese diver to take gold in 10 events this week before failing his last dive for 30.6 points, the lowest-scoring dive of the 72 in the final. Laugher scored at least 9.0s on his first five dives, including a 10, before recording between 2s and 3s from the seven judges in the last round and squandering a 31.1-point lead.

Laugher had 21.6 points in difficulty in Thursday’s final. Xie had 21.3 and Cao 21.2. Boudia had 19.9, arguably putting him out of the running for the podium before he stepped on the springboard.

Boudia, a 30-year-old father of three, accomplished his goal for worlds simply by making the final.

Boudia and Rio Olympian Michael Hixon reached the top 12 to ensure the U.S. gets two men’s springboard spots at Tokyo 2020, to be filled at June’s Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Hixon, who was 10th in Rio and 20th at the 2017 Worlds, finished seventh in Gwangju.

Diving worlds continue with the women’s springboard final, featuring Chinese Olympic champion Shi Tingmao but no Americans, on Friday. The men’s platform final is Saturday.

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MORE: Diving Worlds TV Schedule

Chris Froome wins 2011 Vuelta a Espana

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AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — Chris Froome has become the 2011 Spanish Vuelta winner because of Juan Jose Cobo’s disqualification for blood doping.

The International Cycling Union says Cobo did not meet a deadline to challenge his three-year ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The UCI says Cobo’s suspension announced last month is confirmed, and he is stripped of results at the 2009 world championships and Vuelta, and the 2011 Vuelta which he won.

Froome was runner-up eight years ago and becomes the winner of his first Grand Tour title, and seventh overall.

Froome also becomes the first British winner of any of the major stage races — the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, or Vuelta.

That honor was held by Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour winner who rises from third to be runner-up at the 2011 Vuelta.

The 38-year-old Cobo is retired from racing. His doping ban was announced days after Froome suffered season-ending injuries crashing at the Dauphine race in France.

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