Shoma Uno breaks through to win Four Continents Championships; Sui, Han take pairs’ title
Shoma Uno from Japan took the men’s title at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday.
This is the first major championship title for Uno: he is the Olympic silver medalist, two-time Worlds silver medalist, and he has been on the podium at the Grand Prix Final four times -- though never in the top spot.
“I think I was able to do everything I can,” Uno said of his post-skate fall to the ice, according to the Associated Press. “There weren’t a lot of happy emotions when I collapsed, it was like ‘I really did it.’ I thought about how I was injured after Nationals and how I can bring my skating to the next level.”
Uno rallied from fourth after the short program with a 197.36-point free skate. His total score of 289.12 points was 15.61 points ahead of silver medalist Jin Boyang of China.
Vincent Zhou from Team USA held on for the bronze medal, though he fell from first place after the short program. Zhou scored 172.04 in the free skate for a total score of 272.22 points.
“I’m very proud of myself for continuing the upward trend I’ve put myself on,” Zhou said through U.S. Figure Skating. “The audience was absolutely incredible and they helped me feel good about how I skated.”
Jason Brown finished fifth overall with 258.89 points. He attempted a quadruple Salchow, but it was called under-rotated by the judges and he put a hand down on the landing. He has never landed a clean quad in competition; at the U.S. Championships last month, Brown doubled his planned quad attempt in the free skate.
“I’m so proud of my fight out there and scoring my season’s best today,” Brown said through U.S. Figure Skating. “I’ll keep building onto that momentum into Worlds.”
The third American man in the field, Timoki Hiwatashi, finished eighth with 236.79 points.
Earlier Saturday, China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong notched a come-from-behind victory in the pairs’ event. The Olympic silver medalists were second in the short program after Sui missed her side-by-side triple toe and fell. However, their 136.92 points in the free skate (despite another fall from Sui on their side-by-side triple Salchows) and 211.11 overall score was enough to surpass Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro for gold by 0.06 points.
“To be honest, there are still some technical elements that we haven’t put into the program,” Han said, according to the Associated Press. “This competition is a good motivation for us to reflect and improve before the World Championships.”
China had two teams on the podium, with Cheng Peng and Jin Yang taking the bronze with 205.42 points.
The three American teams in the field finished fourth (Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc), fifth (Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier), and sixth (Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea).
The Four Continents Championships wrap up Sunday with the free dance at 4 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Gold’s “Figure Skating Pass” and coverage on NBCSN beginning at midnight.
As a reminder, you can watch Four Continents and the world championships 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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