GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu topped the free skate on Sunday but had to settle for his third runner-up finish as U.S. national champion Nathan Chen held on to win the Four Continents championships in South Korea.
Hanyu trailed in third place after the short program but temporarily grabbed top spot, scoring 206.67 points in the free program skating second from last in a field of 24 at Gangneung Ice Arena.
But 17-year-old Chen scored 204.34 to prevail with a total of 307.46 for his first title at the Four Continents, which served as a test event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Hanyu, also second in 2011 and 2013, finished with 303.71 and Shoma Uno, who won the national championships in Hanyu’s flu-enforced absence in December, took third with 288.05. Keiji Tanaka was 13th.
“This is my third silver medal at the Four Continents and I enjoyed this one the most,” Hanyu said.
“I felt the threat posed by Nathan but he will push me beyond my limit, no doubt about that. More than anything else, I want to get back to practice as soon as possible.”
Despite dropping from second to third after the free skate, Uno rewrote his personal best by 2.98.
“I was able to complete a quad toeloop in competition and it’s something I couldn’t execute in practice,” said Uno, who fell on a triple axel.
“(Falling) was a result of me taking it for granted that I could nail the jump just because it’s a triple axel.”