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Figure skater Nathan Chen wins third straight world title

Jan 17, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Nathan Chen performs during the Skating Spectacular event at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Nathan Chen performs during the Skating Spectacular event at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Chen won his third straight world figure skating championship on Saturday, establishing him as the gold-medal favorite for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Chen landed five quads, a four-rotation jump, as he won the competition in Stockholm. He has not lost since his fifth-place finish in the 2018 Olympics, winning 10 straight gold medals.

He entered Saturday’s free program in third place.

“I wouldn’t say this is my best free program ever,” Chen said. “But it’s one I will definitely remember forever and cherish, being able to skate like that and skate this piece here at worlds.”

Chen, 21, became the first American man since Scott Hamilton (1981-84) to win at least three straight world championships. Chen also has won the five past U.S. championships.

Chen gained 320.88 points, defeating Yuma Kagiyama of Japan by 29.11 points. Two-time defending Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won the bronze medal.

“This is one I’m going to remember forever,” Chen said. “It’s amazing — the fact that we’re able to be at this worlds after this unprecedented year. … I’m very elated, I’m very happy. I tried to remind myself to enjoy being here. I don’t know how many more worlds I’ll be at. In doing that, I was able to be a lot more calm.”

–Field Level Media