January 7, 2018 / 6:47 AM / 6 months ago

Figure skating - Chen cruises to repeat U.S. title

(Reuters) - A dominant Nathan Chen cruised to a repeat U.S. Figure Skating Championship title in San Jose, California on Saturday.

January 6, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Nathan Chen performs in the men's free skate program during the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Chen cemented his status as likely the best chance for American gold at next month’s Winter Olympics with an overall scored of 315.23 for a 40.72-point victory.

The American landed five quadruple jumps to extend his undefeated season and bolster his confidence.

“There’s more to come,” Chen told NBCSN. “This is exactly what I wanted my entire life. I’m ready for it.”

January 6, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; First place Nathan Chen poses with his medal after the men's free skate program during the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ross Miner was a surprise silver medal winner with 274.51 points.

Vincent Zhou grabbed the bronze medal with 273.83 points, while Adam Rippon was fourth with a score of 268.34.

Slideshow (7 Images)

The three-man Olympic team will be named Sunday morning.

Chen missed a week of training due to illness leading up to nationals but is clearly now in full flight.

“I definitely set a big bar for myself last year,” Chen said. “I wouldn’t even say I reached it today. I still have a way to go to beat what I did last year.”

The day began with free skate pairs as Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Christopher Knierim took the competition with a score of 206.60 points.

Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea earned the silver medal with 200.80 points while Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartolomay grabbed the bronze medal with 197.65 points.

The pairs’ nomination to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team will also be announced Sunday morning.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing Amlan Chakraborty

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