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Stunning free skate gives Chen third U.S. title

Stunning free skate gives Chen third U.S. title
Jan 27, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Nathan Chen performs in the senior men's free skate competition during the 2019 Geico U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports   -   Copyright  Raj Mehta(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – World champion Nathan Chen delivered a spectacular free skate to easily claim his third consecutive U.S. figure skating title in Detroit on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Olympian, already a 13-point leader after Saturday’s short programme, earned 228.80 points for his free skate, which was superior to the total scores of all but six of the 20 men’s competitors.

“Near perfection,” said NBC analyst Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic women’s gold medallist.

Chen finished with a total of 342.22 points, ahead of 18-year-old former world junior champion Vincent Zhou, who was 58.21 points adrift in second. Olympian Jason Brown placed third with 273.08.

“That programme went exactly as I wanted it to,” said Chen after his free skate.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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