Malinin win men’s figure skating world title

In Sports
March 28, 2024


American Ilia Malinin produced six scintillating quadruple jumps, including a quadruple Axel, in the men’s free skate on Saturday to capture his first figure skating world title.

The 19-year-old nicknamed the “Quad god,” who is the only skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition, dazzled with an array of breathtakingly executed jumps starting with his quad Axel and including a quadruple Lutz in combination with a triple flip and a quadruple toe loop in combination with a triple toe.

He added an unexpected triple-triple combination at the end to earn 227.79 for the free skate for a championship total of 333.76 points.

With the crowd at Montreal’s Centre Bell on their feet by the end of his routine, Malinin, who was third after a short programme he “wasn’t happy about,” acknowledged the cheers then collapsed to the ice before skating off to await the scores.

“I’m in shock right now,” said Malinin, who said this week he had recently battled injuries and a dip in confidence.

“The past couple of weeks have been so hard for me to train and it was even a thought for me that I wouldn’t be able to compete at the World Championships.

“And I’m just so glad I was able to achieve it here,” he said.

“There was a little voice in my head ‘no matter what you have to keep fighting, you have to keep going, no matter how bad or how good you feel you just have to know what you’re capable of and stick to your muscle memory and the training you’ve been through.”

Olympic silver medallist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan took silver with a total of 309.65 points. His free skate featured three quadruple jumps but he fell after landing a triple Axel.

European champion Adam Siao Him Fa of France claimed a stunning bronze, soaring from 19th after the short programme with a free skate that included four quadruple jumps and gave him a total of 294.39 points.

Two-time defending champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who led after the short programme, endured a disastrous free skate. He fell on his opening quadruple jump and botched two other landings.

He was sixth in the free skate to finish fourth on 280.85 points and said that despite his inability to “three-peat” it was an “exhilarating experience overall.”

American duo Madison Chock and Evan Bates successfully defended their ice dance crown to seal an undefeated season.

The Montreal-based Chock, 31, and Bates, 35, finished with a total of 222.20 points to pip Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who finished second with 219.68.

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri finished third with a total of 216.52.

“We could not be more thrilled,” Chock said after Saturday’s win. “And to do it in our adopted hometown of Montreal — the support has been incredible.”

Leading after scoring a season-best 90.08 in Friday’s rhythm dance, Chock and Bates were outscored by Gilles and Poirier in Saturday’s free dance.

However the Canadian duo’s tally was not enough to dislodge Chock and Bates from first place, leaving the Americans celebrating a second straight world title.

Chock and Bates became a partnership in 2011 and are engaged to be married later this year.

This year, they have won Grand Prix events on home ice and in Finland, taken the Grand Prix Final and also captured their fifth US crown.

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