Las Vegas (United States) (AFP)

American skater Nathan Chen, winner of the free skate after triumphing in the short program on Friday, won his 4th straight Skate America title on Saturday in Las Vegas, the first major meeting in a season heckled by the pandemic of Covid-19.

To music by Philip Glass, the two-time world figure skating champion scored 187.98 points in the free skate to total 299.15 points at the end of the event.

In the final standings, he is ahead of his compatriot Vincent Zhou (275.10) and the Canadian Keegan Messing (266.42).

Despite his victory, Chen said he was "a little disappointed with the failed jumps" on the site of the ISU, the International Skating Federation.

"I made several big mistakes, things I shouldn't have done," he regretted.

By winning in Nevada, the American continues an impressive series: since his 5th place at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang (South Korea), he has won all the competitions in which he has taken part.

Among the women, in the absence of the prodigy Alysa Liu, too young to participate in the international circuit but already two-time senior United States champion in title at 15, it is her compatriot Mariah Bell (212.73 points) who took it with a breath in front of another American, Bradie Tennell (211.07).

Audrey Shin took 3rd place with 206.15 points.

However, no spectator was able to attend their performances firsthand, the Covid-19 pandemic having forced the organizers behind closed doors.

In addition, participation was limited to only skaters based in the United States.

Skate America was also the first stop on an international calendar which now has only four dates, in the United States, China, Russia and Japan, instead of the usual six after the cancellations of events in Canada and in France due to reinforced health restrictions in the face of the rebound of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The final, the second most important meeting of the season after the Worlds, initially scheduled in Beijing in early December on the ice rink for the next Winter Games, has been postponed indefinitely.

The rankings after the second day of Skate America:


1. Nathan Chen (USA) 299.15 points

2. Vincent Zhou (USA) 275.10

3. Keegan Messing (CAN) 266.42

4. Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA) 245.30

5. Ilia Malinin (USA) 220.31



1. Mariah Bell (USA) 212.73 points

2. Bradie Tennell (USA) 211.07

3. Audrey Shin (USA) 206.15

4. Karen Chen (USA) 204.90

5. Amber Glenn (USA) 190.09



1. Alexa Scimeca Knierim / Brandon Frazier (USA) 214.77 points

2. Jessica Calalang / Brian Johnson (USA) 207.40

3. Audrey Lu / Misha Mitrofanov (USA) 189.65

4. Ashley Cain-Gribble / Timothy Leduc (USA) 189.23

5. Tarah Kayne / Danny O'Shea (USA) 174.35



1. Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue (USA) 211.39 points

2. Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker (USA) 202.47

3. Christina Carreira / Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) 185.78

4. Caroline Green / Michael Parsons (USA) 178.05

5. Molly Cesanek / Yehor Yehorov (USA) 168.09


© 2020 AFP