Figure Skating

Chen makes history with eighth Grand Prix triumph

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BySportsbeat
02/11/2019 at 21:45 | Updated 02/11/2019 at 21:45

USA's Nathan Chen became the first singles skater in nearly 20 years to win eight straight Grand Prix events with victory in Grenoble, France.

Two-time world champion Chen, 20, had shaky landings on more than one of his quadruple jumps but the ‘Rocket Man' skate saw him extend a four-point overnight lead to more than 30.

Chen matched Yegeny Plushenko's feat of eight consecutive Grand Prix wins and qualified for December's Grand Final, where he is expected to face Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

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"The goal for every season is to make the Final, so I'm happy that I accomplished that," said Chen, skipping college classes at Yale to compete.

"The program that I did was not great. A lot of mistakes. A lot of little bobbles on the landings.

"A lot of the mistakes [for all skaters] are due to the ice being harder. A lot of competition is not typically this cold. … that being said, we have to be able to adapt to the situation.

"We can't use that as an excuse for our failures. We still have to man up."

Chen finished 23.06 points ahead of Russia's Alexander Samarin who won silver and home hope Kevin Aymoz in the bronze medal position.

Elsewhere, home favourites Gabriella Papapdakis and Guillaume Cizeron extended their unbeaten streak since their Olympic silver medal, posting a world lead on season debut.

They scored 222.24 to edged out Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates.

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