United States in First Place Headed into Final Day of Competition at World Team Trophy
The United States men again thrilled the crowd, finishing first and second in the free skate to help the United States maintain the lead after the second day of competition at ISU World Team Trophy 2019 in Fukuoka, Japan. The United States is first with 91 points, followed by Japan (79 points) and Russia (70 points).
Nathan Chen won the free skate, scoring 199.49 points, behind three quad jumps. Vincent Zhou, who on Thursday night became the first man to land a clean quad Lutz with his arms extended over his head, finished less than one point behind after skating a clean program to earn 198.50 points. Chen and Zhou combined for 23 total team points.
"It was a lot like yesterday," team captain Madison Hubbell said. "Team USA put out a lot of wonderful performances, including some season's bests and we're all very happy and proud. While we are confident in our team tomorrow, we know that anything can happen, so we'll be pushing our teammates to give their best performances."
Ice dancers Hubbell and Zachary Donohue followed a strong rhythm dance performance with a 127.11-point, third-place free dance to give the United States 10 team points. The duo caps off a solid year, winning their second consecutive U.S. title and World medal.
Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, the reigning U.S. pairs champions, earned 66.91 points in their opening performance of the competition to finish fifth and earn the United States eight points.
Cain and LeDuc, along with Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell, will skate on Saturday and try to earn the United States its fourth World Team Trophy title.
Fans can watch World Team Trophy live with the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold.
The event features the six best figure skating teams of the 2018-19 season, which includes Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States. Each team consists of two ladies, two men, one pairs team and one ice dance team. Each skater/team will receive points based on placements in the short program/rhythm dance and free skate/dance. The points will be combined across the four disciplines with the highest point total winning.
Held every odd year, Team USA has medaled in all five World Team Trophy events. Most recently, Team USA took third in the event in 2017, scoring 97 points. The United States won the inaugural 2009 competition, earned silver in 2012 (held in an even year because the 2011 event was postponed due to an earthquake and tsunami in Japan) and won gold in 2013 and 2015.