The United States figure skating team was looking to build off a strong first day of competition when it took the ice Saturday (Sunday in Beijing) at Capital Indoor Stadium. However, both the men and women faltered on day two.
While Karen Chen finished fifth in the women’s short program to begin the day, Vincent Zhou, followed it up with a third-place finish in the men’s free skate with a score of 171.44.
Christine Brennan @cbrennansports
Talk about not rising to the moment: first Karen Chen, then Vincent Zhou. Yikes, Vincent. What was that? USA will still likely win the silver but there were two athletes who did not match their teammates’ intensity from Day One.
The 21-year-old entered as the favorite in the men’s free skate, but made several mistakes en route to the third-place finish. His performance was very shaky as he under-rotated on both a quad salchow and quad toe loop. He also bailed on a planned quad flip.
While his performance earned the United States eight team points, the United States is still behind the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the overall team standings with 42 points, compared to the ROC’s 45.
Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama, who is making his Olympic debut, won the event, and 10 points for his team, with 208.94 points.
However, Kagiyama’s performance does not come as a surprise. The 18-year-old unexpectedly won the 2021 world silver medal behind Nathan Chen, and was sure to come into the Winter Games with fire.
The ROC’s Mark Kondratiuk also had a solid performance and finished Saturday’s event in second place with 181.65 points. He earned nine points for his team to help it overtake the United States in the standings.
For perspective on how bad the Americans performed Saturday, they entered the day in first place thanks to Chen’s success in the men’s short program, coupled with the performance of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue in the rhythm dance.
If one thing is clear after day two, it’s that the Americans will need a strong ending to this competition if it wants to win a gold medal. Otherwise, it looks like the Olympic Athletes from Russia are headed for their first gold medal since 2014.
- Yuma Kagiyama, Japan: 208.94
- Mark Kondratiuk, Russian Olympic Committee: 181.65
- Vincent Zhou, United States: 171.44
- Boyang Jin, China: 155.04
- Roman Sadovsky, Canada: 122.60
Overall Team Standings:
- ROC: 45 points
- United States: 42 points
- Japan: 39 points
- Canada: 30 points
- China: 29 points
- Georgia: 22 points
- Italy: 20 points
- Czech Republic: 15 points
- Germany: 8 points
- Ukraine: 8 points
Three more team events will take place on Sunday (Monday in Beijing), including pairs free skating, free ice dance and women’s single skating.