Nathan Chen back in form with Skate Canada blowout victory

Oct 30, 2021, 5:12 AM | Updated: 10:01 pm

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier perform their ice dance free dance program during the Skate Canada figure skating event Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Nathan Chen ran away with Skate Canada on Saturday in an emphatic response to sub-par performance a week ago at Skate America.

Third last week in Las Vegas after winning 14 straight events since March 2018, the 22-year-old American star finished with 307.18 points in front of a limited crowd at the University of British Columbia’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

Chen’s coach, Rafael Arutunian, was forced to watch from the crowd after his accreditation was removed because of an inadvertent violation Friday of the COVID-19 protocols at the event. Chen said the incident didn’t affect his performance.

“I was still able to focus on my skate,” Chen said said. “He’s taught us to be very self-sufficient. Really nothing changed in that regard. What went down was appropriate. It’s reasonable to adhere to the bubble protocol. Keeping us all safe is the whole objective of this bubble.”

The three-time world champion also who won the Grand Prix Final in Vancouver in 2019.

Fellow American Jason Brown was second at 259.55, followed by Russia’s Evgeni Semenenko at 256.01.

At night in the women’s free skate, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva led a Russian sweep of the top three spots. Valieva had 265.08 points.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 world champion, was second at 232.88, and Alena Kostornaia third at 214.54.

In ice dancing, Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won at 210.97. They also won the 2019 event in Kelowna.

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri were second at 200.05, followed by Spain’s Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz at 192.93.

Earlier, China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the pair title, finishing with 224.05 points. Russia’s Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin were second at 193.08, followed by Americans Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc at 189.90.

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Nathan Chen back in form with Skate Canada blowout victory