The U.S. won figure skating’s season-ending world team trophy by the largest margin in the event’s history.
The Americans — led by world ice dance champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates and world medalists Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier (pairs) and Ilia Malinin — totaled 125 points, distancing runner-up South Korea by 25 points.
Host Japan, which was the pre-event co-favorite with the U.S., finished third after struggles from men’s singles skaters.
The three-day event concluded Saturday with the pairs’ free skate, won by Knierim and Frazier, and the men’s free skate, won by South Korean Cha Jun-Hwan. Americans Jason Brown and Malinin were third and fifth. Malinin tried five quadruple jumps, landed three clean and fell on his opening quad Axel attempt.
WORLD TEAM TROPHY: Full Results
The U.S. went into Saturday with a 15-point lead and the title all but clinched.
U.S. figure skating could look very different next season. Knierim and Frazier have said they will probably retire. Chock and Bates, who won their first world ice dance title in March, also said last month they were undecided on returning for a 13th season together. Brown skipped the last Grand Prix season and could take another extended break.
World team trophy, which debuted in 2009 and has always been in Japan, pits the top six figure skating nations in a format similar to the Olympic team event that debuted in 2014. Nations earn points based on their skaters placements in short and long programs.
This year’s event included, in order of ranking, Japan, the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Italy and France. Each nation had two men’s singles skaters, two women’s singles skaters, one pair and one ice dance couple.
Russia, which won the last world team trophy in 2021, was not entered due to its suspension for the war in Ukraine.
The U.S. took silver at the last edition and before that won in 2019. The U.S., Russia and Japan made up the podium at each of the previous four editions dating to 2015.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk