Tue, 05 Jul 2022

BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Three-time world champion Nathan Chen led the figure skating men's singles after short program here on Friday, while his arch-rival Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan again opted to focus on the individual discipline at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.

The American, 22, six-time national champion of the United States in a row, landed three clean jumps, including an opening quadruple flip, a triple Axel and a quad putz-triple toeloop, to score 111.71 points for his short program skating to La Boheme.

Japan's Shoma Uno, the silver medalist of PyeongChang 2018, was the second with 105.46 points, while Olympic athlete from Russia Mark Kondratiuk finished a distant third on 95.81.

Local favorite Jin Boyang, who was the fourth-placed men's singles skater four years ago, sat on sixth temporarily with 82.87 points, after being deducted one point for a fall on his second jump, a quadruple toeloop.

The rivalry between Hanyu and Chen is expected to be one of the highlights of figure skating at Beijing 2022.

Hanyu, who competed in the team event in Sochi in 2014 when the competition was firstly introduced to the Olympic program, is aiming to become the first man to win three individual Olympic gold medals since Gillis Grafstroem won gold in 1920, 1924 and 1928.

The 27-year-old Japanese did not compete internationally this season after suffering an ankle ligament injury but came back to claim his sixth national title in December.

Chen has dominated during the past Olympic cycle, winning all three world titles, both Grand Prix Final events and both men's singles competitions at the World Team Trophy.

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