Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou finished first and second again at the World Team Trophy in Fukuoka, Japan overnight Friday to earn more points for Team USA.
Teams from the U.S. have won World Team Trophy three times, and are on track to win a fourth title as competition concludes on Saturday. The U.S. squad has 91 points, followed by home team Japan with 79 and Russia with 70.
Two-time world champion Chen scored 199.49 points in his free skate, where he included three quad jumps. Zhou’s free skate earned 198.50 points and was significant as he became the first man to land a clean quadruple Lutz with his arms extended over his head — or “Rippon” style.
Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan attempted a triple Axel, quad toe combination but fell. No other skater has attempted that combination in competition, according to the ISU.
U.S. national pair champions Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc finished fifth in the short program and will compete in the free skate on Saturday. The ladies’ free skate is also Saturday and will feature Americans Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell.
Friday also featured the free dance, where two-time World medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue finished third, good for 10 more points for the U.S.
“It was a lot like yesterday,” team captain Hubbell said through U.S. Figure Skating. “Team USA put out a lot of wonderful performances, including some season’s bests and we’re all very happy and proud. While we are confident in our team tomorrow, we know that anything can happen so we’ll be pushing our teammates to give their best performances.”
The event also has a reputation for being a fun end-of-season event for skaters, where they can cheer for teammates in their boxes, similar to the way the team event works at the Olympics.
As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2018-19 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.
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