Two-time World Champion Nathan Chen (USA) flew high at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, taking his third consecutive title with almost 44 points to spare, setting new record scores en route. Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan settled for the silver and France’s Kevin Aymoz claimed the bronze in what was his debut in the Grand Prix Final. Alexander Samarin (RUS) moved up one spot to fourth at 248.83 points. Boyang Jin (CHN) came fifth (241.44 points) while Dmitri Aliev (RUS) dropped from fourth to sixth (220.04 points).
Chen had drawn to skate last and had to wait until the sweepers cleaned the ice of hundreds of toys that were thrown for Hanyu. On “Rocketman” with music by Elton John, the U.S. Champion posted a new highest score in the Free Skating with 224.92 points as well as overall with 335.30 points.
“It felt amazing, I got pretty gassed at the end of my program so I guess I need to work on my stamina a little bit, but overall I’m really happy to be here, I’m really thrilled with the score. It’s awesome experience and exposure for me to be able to compete against these amazing guys and every time it’s a lot of fun for me, so I’m happy to be here and excited to keep moving forward”, Chen said.
Hanyu, who celebrated his 25th birthday on the day of the competition, opened his performance to “Origin” The current World silver medalist earned 194.00 points and totaled 291.43 points to remain in second place. “I’m satisfied with the first half of the program but regret about the second half. I was too tired in the end that I wasn’t able to hang on to the ending pose,” Hanyu commented. “I want to be better. Nathan (Chen) makes me stronger and makes it more fun to skate.”
Aymoz turned in an expressive program to “Lighthouse” by Patrick Watson. The French Champion set a new personal best of 178.92 points and accumulated 275.63 points overall. “It was a great experience to be here. I’m a little confused to be here. I never imagined to be next to these two guys,” Aymoz said. “My goal coming here was to get 95 in the short and 175 in the free and I did better in both. I wasn’t thinking about the place just the score,” he continued.