Nathan Chen lands five quads in a perfect skate as Hanyu falters; Sinitsina / Katsalapov win first ice dance crown. Follow along with all the news, action, and updates from Stockholm.
Hello and welcome to the last day of competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 in Stockholm on Saturday, 27 March. Scroll down for our updates below!
Olympic Channel was live blogging the event all week, and brought you all the action, updates, and news from the men's singles free skate and ice dance free dance as competition came to a close.
Earlier, Nathan Chen landed a five-quad free skate and Hanyu Yuzuru toiled in his routine as the American overhauled Hanyu's short program lead to win a third straight men's world title.
Then, in the ice dance, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov held on to their rhythm dance lead to win a first world title in the absence of 2019 champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
Final standings, men's singles overall score:
Final standings, ice dance overall score:
All times are local to host country Sweden (Central European Time/CET).
Most recent updates first.
And that, believe it or not, concludes our live blog coverage from Stockholm this week.
What a fantastic final day to close it out. It's been four days full of drama, in all four events.
We will not be running a live blog tomorrow for the exhibition gala. However, do stay across OlympicChannel.com for more coverage of the Worlds as Nick shares his thoughts on what we learned from this week's competition.
All that's left for me to say, is on behalf of our Russian and Japanese language colleagues, Rory and Sanjeev who guided us through the practice days, Nick, and the whole team behind our coverage, thank you for reading and following along this week.
It's been an absolute pleasure.
After a really long wait, the press conference is underway Watch it below.
Here's Nikita Katsalapov reacting to the gold medal: "Yes, of course, this medal means a lot to us, it's a very dear medal for us.
"We went through a lot of obstacles towards it, especially this year. Not only us, but all the other athletes too. Also this medal means that we can be even better, we can move forward."
Madison Hubbell's first thoughts on silver: "This is another world silver medal for us, for the last three world champions we've been on the podium, we know that takes a lot of work so we're proud of ourselves for being consistently at the peak of our performance.
"We're going to enjoy our own win. It wasn't what we came here for, but it's still incredibly dear to us."
And on their first Worlds medal, here's Paul Poirier: "This is our first time on the World podium, it's an incredibly exciting milestone in our careers. I think we're so proud of what we've been able to accomplish this season.
"We've been pretty open and unapologetic about wanting to be on the Olympic podium next season, so being on the Worlds podium the season before is very encouraging for the two of us and it really lets us know that we're on the right track."
And, finally, from Victoria Sinitsina on recovering from Covid-19 to win Worlds gold:
"Yes, it was really a hard time. But it’s all truly behind me now. I am feeling great now.
"I missed the work and the ice so much, I trained with so much joy, looking into Nikita’s eyes and trusting him and our team.
"I am just happy to be here and see how this competition unfolded. I am very happy."
Here's what our champions have to say.
"I am so happy, really, I don't know what I can say right now. I just want to smile and cry," Sinitsina says.
"The one thing that's missing is the audience," Katsalapov adds.
The medals ceremony will follow, and we will see Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier awarded bronze; USA's Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue the silver; and FSR's Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov will be announced as world figure skating ice dance champions.
We'll also, for the third time this week, hear Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.
Nick's report on that ice dance final is available here.
Your short program leaders, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, representing the FSR.
They just need to skate clean; they have a two-point advantage from the short program.
Level threes and fours throughout, no real mistakes, and this will be a clear winner.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov both have giant smiles. A big hug between the two, and Katsalapov kisses his partner's hands.
So let's find out the scores. They need to beat 126.57 to take gold. It's a 133.02, a new personal best; 221.17 overall is also a new PB.
They are the first team representing Russia or the FSR to win ice dance world gold in 12 years.
Here's the other American couple, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
One of my favourite pieces of music, Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah, will provide the backdrop to the first part of their routine. They're also using k.d. lang's version later in their performance.
Same issue on the one foot step sequence that has caught so many teams out today. Only a level two for Hubbell.
Uh oh - only a level two on the circular step sequence. More points dropped there.
What a precious routine. Loved it with the music. But the lower GOEs, and the lower levels and therefore base value, will prove costly here.
This is may be close to overtake Gilles and Poirier…
It's just enough on the overall, by less than four tenths. 214.71. Hubbell and Donohue look slightly disappointed.
The first of our two American duo is Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who have an Egyptian-inspired "snake dance" routine for us.
Am I seeing right? That's a GOE of +4.05 on their curve lift + curve lift.
Level threes for both on the one foot step sequence.
Off on the synchronised twizzles! Only a level three for Bates, who nearly lost his balance.
Such a different program, but it works so well with the music. Jason Brown is cheering his heart out!
Worth noting: the live technical score has them below Gilles and Poirier at the moment by about three points; their lead over the Canadians was under two points.
That mistake on the synchronised twizzles may well cost Chock and Bates a world medal here.
And so it proves – it's only 212.69 overall, second behind the Canadians. Chock and Bates look down. Gilles and Poirier have a medal!
Bates in the mixed zone: "Maddie was so excited when we finished, and I looked at her and said: 'I didn't skate as well as you did, babe.'"
Here come Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, in matching maroon red outfits.
Cut to the stands where Keegan Messing, wearing a cowboy hat, is waving a giant Canadian flag.
That darned one foot step sequence strikes again! Just a level two for Gilles; level three for Poirier.
The dual curve lift + curve lift, both level four, gets a stunning 3.92 grade of execution.
We're seeing some really high grades of execution from the judges on the live scoring graphic. Gilles and Poirier are nailing their elements.
I'm going to run out of words before the end of this group, but that was simply beautiful.
Cut back to Messing waving the flag.
They've put themselves in with a real shout of a medal if any of the top three mess up. Gilles is sobbing with emotion in the kiss and cry – then a huge reaction as they see 130.98 for their free dance, a personal best by four points, and a 214.35 total!
First up in this final group, FSR's Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin.
They're skating to a medley of Ludovico Einaudi's Primavera and Cry Me a River by Justin Timerlake.
Everything is perfect to start, all level fours with really good grades of execution.
The one foot step sequence, which has caught so many teams out today, is a level three for both with a GOE of +2. Not bad at all.
Great skating. Bukin looks at Stepanova with a giant smile on his face. The Russian national champions have delivered on the world stage.
It's 125.75 for a total of 208.77, into the lead.
Some quick mixed zone reaction from Stepanova: "We just gave our soul today and decided to skate our best with coaches and our team. This competition is a huge lesson for us and to get such a lesson at such big competition will hopefully give us a big push forward in the future."
Nick McCarvel writes:
Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are leading after the rhythm dance, and will skate as the last ice dance duo in the final group - trying to earn their first-ever world title. They're warming up now.
It's been a challenging season for all skaters, but especially so for these two, with Sinitsina having to go to hospital during her battle with Covid-19. They missed up to a month of training because of her illness, which still impacts her lungs.
“[It was] scary, because I was alone at home, I live alone, and I realized that I do not understand anything, I do not control anything,” Sinitsina told Olympic Channel of her health challenges in a Russian-language interview that has been translated.
Without four-time world champs Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron at worlds, there will be a first-time champion team in the dance discipline.
Can it be Victoria and Nikita?
The duo feel as though they have been through so many ups and downs in the past few months.
"When you are ready, you are ready for anything," added Katsalapov. "This is the world championships, this is a very important competition. It's just in your head, and you don't think of anything else."
Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are up next, the last team in this penultimate group.
A great stationary lift + rotational lift combination, both level four, with a +3.79 grade of execution. Stunning.
But they, too, struggle on the one foot step sequence. This time, it's Fabbri only getting the level two.
Still a wonderful, wonderful skate. A very emotive routine. That's going to lead!
Coach Barbara Fusar Poli was living every element with them.
It's 124.16 in the free, a new personal best; their total is 205.20. They now lead with five to go.
Canada's second pair in this final is Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen.
A great routine, level fours all the way through until they hit the one foot step sequence. A level two for her and level three for him. Some points dropped there.
That was such a stunning routine. Really original.
Fournier Beaudry and Sørensen share a kiss at the end of the routine, which but for that pesky step sequence would've definitely seen them into first.
As it is, their program components score may be enough to put them into the lead.
Big smiles from both in the kiss and cry. They receive a 119.01, which is behind the Brits in the free; overall that will also slot them in behind Fear and Gibson on 196.88 – by just 0.04 points.
Skating to an up-tempo Madonna medley, here are the Brits Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson.
This is great from the British, who train in Montreal at the Ice Academy Montreal.
All level three and fours, and they got a high grade of execution on their stationary lift + rotational lift combination.
That was fantastic!
This should go into the lead with just seven to go, guaranteeing a top-nine finish.
It's a personal best 119.50 in the free, a total of 196.92. Into the lead!
The Polish couple, Natalia Kaliszek and Maksym Spodyriev, suffer the same issue as the FSR team from before on the one foot step sequence.
And right at the end, the stationary lift is only called a level two and then Spodyriev nearly drops Kaliszek onto the ice.
This is only good for 107.21, sixth in the free dance, and their 183.33 total is only good for fourth overall.
Here we go with the penultimate group on the ice in these Championships.
Up first, FSR's Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro. They're skating to a remix of Survivor by Beyoncé.
On their one foot step sequence, only level two for Zagorski and a level three for Guerreiro.
But there are no such issues on their synchro twizzles, level four for both.
I think that level two on the step sequence for Zagorski was the only major flaw in the program where they've perhaps dropped a few points there.
112.87 points for second in the free dance and indeed 188.45 total puts them second.
The ice is now being resurfaced after the first two groups.
With 10 teams left to skate, USA's Kaitlyn Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker top the overall standings after a beautiful skate.
However, they received a low program components score (artistry score) from the judges, leading Hawayek to shake her head upon seeing the result.
That was a really nice chat between Meryl Davis and Nathan Chen over on our Instagram page.
Our thanks and congratulations to Nathan for joining us so shortly after winning his third world title.
That video is available, in full, under this entry.
Back on the ice at the Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm, the second group of ice dancers is now performing.
Through the first five duos, it's a French 1-2 led by Adelina Galyavieva and Louis Thauron.
Welcome back to Stockholm!
It's time for the last competitive session of the Championships, with the ice dance free dance.
There are four groups of five dance duos each competing in the free dance, going in reverse order of their rhythm dance placings.
Meanwhile, if you're interested in our Instagram live with men's winner Nathan Chen, that will now be at 5:15 pm.
The press conference is still going on, but we will take a short break on the blog for now and return in an hour when the ice dancers hit the rink for the free dance.
Also, we have something special to bring you in an hour at 5:00 pm Stockholm time (12:00 pm U.S. Eastern / 9:00 am U.S. Pacific) as the three-time world champion Nathan Chen joins Olympic ice dance champion Meryl Davis for an Instagram Live on the Olympics Instagram.
Do note that this time could change slightly, depending on Nathan Chen's obligations for anti-doping as well as the ongoing press conference.
"I feel so exhausted. I felt like I was losing my balance one by one," Hanyu says briefly in the mixed zone. "So I was trying my best not to fall and to get it together. There were a lot of jumps one after another that didn’t really feel like me. So it was really challenging."
Seems like Hanyu still intends to push the envelope, though. He's just said this during the press conference:
"I want to go back to practicing the quad Axel again, because I want to be the very first person to land it cleanly in an official competition."
The press conference featuring the three medallists is now underway and you can watch along below.
Time for the victory ceremony.
Hanyu is introduced as the bronze medallist and he gives a little wave. This is not where he wanted to be, but it'll only serve as motivation.
Huge cheers for him from his fellow skaters. He takes a bow, then realises he's meant to put his medal on himself.
The silver medallist, on debut, and I don't think he can believe it just yet, is Kagiyama.
Now, here he comes. For the third time in a row after 2018 and 2019 – the world figure skating champion in men's singles, Nathan Chen. He skates past Kagiyama and Hanyu, greeting each of them, before taking the top step of the podium.
The Star-Spangled Banner will sound over the Ericsson Globe for Chen.
Nick's report on that crazy, drama-filled, pulsating men's final is here.
Here's Nathan Chen's immediate reaction to defending his title successfully for a three-peat:
"It's amazing, the fact I'm able to be here at this world championships after this unprecedented year, it's amazing. I'm elated right now.
"I just tried to really remind myself to enjoy being here. I don't know how many more world championships I'll get to be at. Doing that, I was able to be a lot more calm."
Two-time world champion, two-time Olympic champion, short program leader.
Hanyu Yuzuru is on the ice.
A hand down on the opening quad loop! And he turns out and puts a hand down on his quad Salchow!
And an off-balance triple Axel! That 3A was to have been in combination with a double toe but he just couldn't get the second jump off.
Hanyu recovers somewhat with his triple loop, but it's all started on the wrong foot for the Japanese.
He'll have to be perfect from here if he wants to win this.
Quad toe, triple toe. Great job, first clean quad for him and nicely done.
He follows with a quad toe, single Euler, triple Salchow. That'll do him the world of good.
Oh now, he turns out of another triple Axel and can't get the combo off! That's a repeated jump.
I think he knows he hasn't done enough. He wasn't at his best. A small smile, a nod of recognition that it wasn't enough.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nathan Chen is the world champion. It's 182.20 for Hanyu in the free – only fourth in the segment – for a total of 289.18 – BRONZE FOR HANYU!
Kagiyama wins silver!
The gauntlet has been well and truly laid down.
Here's Kagiyama Yuma. Starts with a very impressive quad Salchow.
Quad toe, triple toe, and it just looks too easy for the Youth Olympic champion. Triple flip is clean, then a stunning quadruple toe, scoring over +3.5 on GOE.
Kagiyama starts the second half with a triple Axel, single Euler, triple Salchow.
Now a triple Lutz, triple loop but he held on to the Lutz landing a little and stepped out of the loop.
And he lands his last triple Axel with a step out.
For his senior Worlds debut, Kagiyama has done brilliantly. Unfortunate mistakes at the end there.
I tell you what, he's still going to get a personal best here. And he's such a talent for the future.
Kagiyama is really happy in the kiss and cry. It's 190.81, a huge personal best by 11 points, 291.77 overall and he is DELIGHTED!
It's a bronze at least!
Time for the defending champion, Nathan Chen, with no fewer than five planned quads.
WOW! That opening quad Lutz was beautiful - Grades of Execution over +4 from the judges.
Quad flip, triple toe. Executed perfectly, GOEs over +3. A triple Lutz, clean, to follow.
Now the quad Salchow. Again done brilliantly and again with GOEs higher than +3. Chen is making a push here!
I am speechless. Quad toe, single Euler, triple flip. Quad toe, triple toe! All five quads clean!
And to crown it off, the triple Axel. This is stunning.
Nathan Chen, take a bow! A standing ovation from every single skater in the stands.
It's 222.03 in the free skate, and 320.88 overall. He's 43 points clear of Uno.
Here's Russian national champion Mikhail Kolyada, representing the FSR.
In his first world championships since he took an enforced health break from competition last season.
An exquisite quad toe, triple toe combination to start. And he lands his second quad toe too, stunning.
Triple Axel, double toe – just hanging on to the Axel there.
Triple Lutz, single Euler, triple Salchow – a hand down on the landing of the Salchow for balance.
A fall on the triple Axel. Then he hangs on to a triple flip, wrong edge.
His last element, the triple loop, is clean.
A mixed bag here from Kolyada, who started this program so brightly before it kind of got away from him.
Still, such a great program. Well choreographed to the music. Beautiful.
It's 178.52 in the free, it'll slot him into second behind Uno overall with a 272.04 score.
Keegan Messing, representing Canada, skates next.
Quadruple toe, double toe to start. That's lovely! And his second quad toe, this one stand alone, is fantastic too.
Two great quads from the Alaskan-born skater. Triple Axel, single Euler, triple Salchow. Clean. A triple loop, no issues there either.
Triple Lutz, triple toe combination - hangs on to both landings. Then he has to step out of a triple Axel.
Doubles a planned triple flip off the wrong edge at the end, which is unfortunate, because this has been a really good skate.
What a program! Coach Ralph Burghart is happy by the boards too. Huge grin on Messing's face, this could be a career-best finish.
The Canadian has a best of eighth at the Worlds in 2018 and he should easily surpass that.
It's 176.75 for his free, just behind Uno, and 270.26 overall. This is, at worst, a top six finish!
First up in this final group, the Olympic silver medallist Uno Shoma.
Trained by Stéphane Lambiel in Champéry, the Japanese has four quads listed.
The first of those is a quad Salchow, landed with both feet. Recovers with a super quad flip.
Quad toe loop, he kind of over-rotates, trips over his own blade and has to stick out a hand for balance. Triple Axel, turned out of.
Superb quad toe, double toe. Makes up for the missed quad toe earlier there.
And also a nice triple Sal, triple toe. The landing on the toe is just about held onto.
No complaints about his triple Axel, single Euler, triple flip. Interesting to see Uno has gone for just the two jumping elements in the second half of his program to get the 10% base value increase.
It's a good program. Uno is happy – he looks across at Lambiel and nods contentedly. He's got a smile on his face as he lets out a big sigh of relief.
A huge hug between coach and skater. Yes! Good to see Uno so happy again after the difficult last couple of years.
This will go into the lead. Uno is happy. 277.44 points.
It's time for the final group. Uno Shoma, Keegan Messing, Mikhail Kolyada, Nathan Chen, Kagiyama Yuma, and Hanyu Yuzuru.
Chen needs to make up some eight points on Hanyu if he wants to successfully defend his world title. He has five quads listed in the free.
Here's Jason Brown. He's listed for one quad, a Salchow.
This is what he said after Tuesday practice: "Every single day, we train both. All the time. And the Sal is, at this point, more consistent than the toe.
"So we decided to throw it in. But we've choreographed the program so they are interchangeable. But I'm working and striving hard to get them both consistent as possible."
Opens with the quad, but it looks under-rotated.
Triple Axel, double toe, nicely landed. Puts his free foot down on landing his second triple Axel.
Clean triple flip. Then a triple flip, double toe. He planned a triple toe in that combination, looked like a pop.
Triple loop is clean, as is a fantastic triple Lutz, single Euler, triple Salchow combination.
So, a few mistakes in there. But Brown is always so artistic, and always great to watch.
Coach Tracy Wilson loved it!
170.92 in the free is second behind Semenenko, and he's into the overall lead. 262.17 points.
Brown also spoke to Olympic Channel recently about aiming for Beijing 2022. You can read that here.
Another Brian Orser student now, here's Korean champion Cha Jun-hwan.
Opens with a triple flip instead of his originally-listed quad toe. Interesting choice. He does do the quad Salchow for his second jump, which he hangs onto the landing to.
Triple Lutz, double toe. That's also a change. Orser didn't seem to mind it on the boards.
Triple Axel, double toe – the Axel is fine, but Cha falls after landing the toe! Another triple Axel – under?
Then he goes for a triple flip, single Euler, triple Salchow; that combination is clean. And a nice triple loop to finish.
Not Cha's best routine, it's fair to say.
154.84 is only good for sixth in the segment, and 245.99 is third overall. He doesn't seem too upset at that.
Here's Frenchman Kévin Aymoz, listed for two quadruple toe loops.
Hangs onto the landing of his first, in combination with a triple toe. Does he fall on the second? He puts a hand out to stop himself hitting the ice.
And an incredible save on his triple Axel, again spinning out of it but not quite falling.
Recovers by landing a clean triple loop. And a great triple Axel, which he tacks a double toe onto. Great thinking on the spot and well-executed.
The triple Lutz, single Euler, triple Salchow is clean, too.
Turns out of a triple flip slightly at the end there.
166.28 is his segment score, 254.52 overall. Second.
So, the first of the two FSR men, Evgeni Semenenko, in his first major international competition.
Big air on the quad toe to open. Great jump. Follows it with a quad Salchow, held onto on the landing a little.
Triple Axel, triple toeloop. Nicely done, if the Axel landing was slightly iffy. And a triple loop.
Another clean – superb – triple Axel.
Triple flip, Euler, triple Sal the first of his second-half elements.
A triple loop, double Axel jump sequence to finish.
Semenenko is one to watch for the future! He was very impressive at Russian Cup final to beat out Dmitri Aliev for this second FSR spot, and he's proving he deserved the selection.
I imagine this will go into the lead.
Yes, comfortably. 171.59 for the free skate and 258.45 total.
An Italian in the lead, here comes the other – Matteo Rizzo, in a red outfit, skating to The Greatest Showman.
He has three quads listed, and opens with a quad toe, double toe. Landed the quad on both feet and that took away the triple he was listed for on the second jump.
Quad toe again, this time clean. Had a quad loop listed but pops it to a triple.
Triple flip to recover from the pop.
Cheers from the skaters in the stands as Rizzo nails a triple Axel, Euler, triple Salchow. But he falls on his second triple Axel.
Solid jump sequence, triple Lutz-double Axel, to round out the jumping passes.
So, not the cleanest routine, but lots of energy and the step sequence works with his music.
And he gets docked a point for a time violation
Still into the lead!
So, Yan Han gets us underway with Group 3, with a great triple Axel, triple toe combination. Sublime.
Triple Lutz, double toe, double loop – which had been planned for the second half of his routine – is moved up. Nicely landed.
Then a triple flip, double toe.
Some fantastic jumping here. Triple Salchow, then a triple loop.
Oh – commentator's curse. Yan falls on the triple Lutz, then is forced to turn out of a triple flip.
Some points given back to the judges with those late jumping errors, but otherwise a fantastic program.
A wry grin from Yan as the routine ends. Such a shame about the fall. A big hug for his coach, Jia Shuguang.
For his first worlds in five years, not bad at all. And he'll definitely be the top Chinese, given Jin Boyang's struggles earlier.
It's 153.79 in the free, 235.31 overall – second for now.
Welcome back to Stockholm, where the ice has been resurfaced and Group 3 is now on the ice for warm-ups.
In this group, Yan Han, Matteo Rizzo, Evgeni Semenenko, Kévin Aymoz, Cha Jun-hwan, and Jason Brown.
Remember, Brown is one of only two American men – along with Nathan Chen – who qualified for the free skate, after Vincent Zhou had a disastrous short and placed 25th.
Now, the final skater before ice resurfacing is the Czech veteran, Michal Brezina.
He's skating to a Bryan Adams medley, starting with Summer of 69.
Brezina has one quad listed. Which he falls on, the quad Sal. That'll be a downgrade too. Lands a beautiful triple Axel to recover.
Triple flip, double toe – he takes out the planned double loop at the end of that combination. That's a popped triple flip, only a double.
Triple Axel, double toe the first of his second-half elements. He chooses, intentionally, not to go for the triple toe.
Another pop, from a triple Lutz to a double, then a third pop as he singles a triple loop.
It's a great rock routine, great music, but Brezina's jumping let him down today. And he ends quite a bit after the music, too.
Brezina is limping as he tries to skate off the ice. Did hurt himself on the fall, or later in the skate? Absolutely no pressure on his left leg.
That's only good for ninth in the free skate; seventh overall.
So, as we head into the ice resurfacing, Daniel Grassl leads.
Thanks, Nick. It's certainly shaping up to be an intriguing finale.
Up next on the ice in Group 2, Italy's Daniel Grassl, who was fourth at the Europeans last year.
He has three quads listed in this skate. And he tries the quad Lutz first and loses control of the landing, but somehow stays upright.
Quad flip. Under? And a quad loop. Under too. Those are the three quads out of the way early.
Nice triple Axel, leading off a Euler-triple Salchow combination.
Triple Lutz, triple toe. Judges aren't sure on the toe, I think. And a triple flip, triple toe. Triple Lutz to finish.
Lots of powerful jumps in there with his Joker routine – and the outfit (and costume change!) to match. Could have been cleaner, but not bad at all.
163.38 isn't a personal best, but it will see him past Kvitelashvili.
A quick word from Grassl after his performance: "I feel more comfortable with quintuples. I don’t know why but Axels, I’m more scared to try Axels. I already tried in practice quints like one year ago and my goal in the future to be one of the first to try it in the competition."
Greetings ZK! Hello everyone. Happy final day - so excited for the skating we're already seeing and what's to come later today and tonight, including with the free dance.
I wrote this preview of the men's free, focusing of course on short program leader Hanyu Yuzuru, the two-time Olympic champ who is going for world title No.3.
I was struck by his quotes from the mixed zone - translated by our team from Japanese - about how his love for the sport only grew in the last year, when he went from his Toronto training base to working largely at home alone in Japan.
"I had to train on my own for a long time," Hanyu said after the short. "And that really made me revisit my skating and my relationship with figure skating. So I feel a stronger connection."
That stronger connection you can feel on the ice, and it's helped him to a six-point lead over countryman Kagiyama Yuma, who had a thrilling short himself.
Two-time and reigning world champ Nathan Chen is in third, eight points back of Hanyu. Can he rally? That will be the big challenge for the American, who had an uncharacteristic fall in the short program.
"Medals are things that are out of my control. I feel like I am putting myself in the wrong mental state if I focus on that,” he said. “Whatever the results are, I want to skate better, be better." - NM
Here comes Jin Boyang.
Now coached not only in China by his long-time coaching team, but also by Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson in Toronto.
He takes a big tumble on a quad Lutz. But what a superb recovery on the quad toe, double toe.
Like Kvitelashvili, Jin has three quads in his program.
Uh oh, a second fall, on the triple Axel.
He pops his third quad – only a triple toe loop instead of a quad. Also that will be downgraded, most likely.
Free foot down as he spins out of another triple Axel, taking the combination away from him and forcing a repeated jump.
Triple Lutz, double toe – that should have been a triple toe, and there was a movement or step after his Lutz which was also scored a jump sequence (3Lz + SEQ + 2T).
Two feet down on his final triple flip too.
A week to forget for Jin. Oooooof. Orser greets him coming off the ice with a fist bump.
I suppose, given the year everyone has had with the lack of competition and his recent switch to Orser and Wilson, Jin and his coaches will have a blank slate going into a home Winter Olympics season in 2022.
Here's what he had to say afterwards:
"I’m not injured. I’m just not myself today. I had a lot of pressure this year, I didn’t feel excited today. Overall I did try my best today, so I need to find my shortcomings. I’m hoping that at least I can perform at the level I have in the training in the future.
"The pressure is not from the outside but from myself mainly. Next year is really, really important to me, I really hope that I can gain the [Olympic] spot for China. I hope to take my responsibility. I feel really regretful that I failed.
"I did try my very best this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to prove that in the competition. I hope I can calm down and have a thorough reflection. I must hold on.
"The pandemic situation is a concern. It mainly depends on whether I can go to Canada or not."
Wow! Great quad Salchow from home hope Nikolaj Majorov to open. But the Swede really struggled through the rest of that program.
Despite encouragement from his teammates in the stands, lots of popped jumps and he looks really disappointed at having put that together at a home Worlds.
Looked like he was struggling with an issue – he was trying to stretch his right ankle as he came off the ice, I think.
He's holding a bag of ice in the kiss and cry and looks despondent, covering his ears as his score is read out.
For all the highs of the sport, there are lows too. He gets a hug from the Swedish coach, and lots of cheers.
After the first three skaters, our lead-off man Aleksandr Selevko of Estonia leads.
But here's the first of two skaters in this group who suffered difficult short programs and have the ability, on their day, to threaten the medals at ISU Championships.
It's Georgia's Morisi Kvitelashvili, skating to music from Puccini's Tosca. He has a career-best finish in ISU Championships of bronze at the 2020 Europeans last January.
Remember, too, that Olympic qualification is on the line today, so a good performance will go a long way to ensuring a place at Beijing 2022 for each federation.
Quad Salchow, triple toe combination to start but Kvitelashvili turns out of the Salchow.
Good recovery with a nice triple Axel, then the second of his quads – a toe, double toe combination – is nice.
Hangs on, just about, to the landing on a triple loop. Then two hands down on a standalone quad toe.
Triple flip, single Euler, triple Salchow – spins out of the Salchow again. That jump has not been friendly to him today.
A triple flip closes out the jumps. Interesting to see that Kvitelashvili put five of his seven jump elements in the first half of his program.
Despite the errors, the three quads – more than any of the three to have performed so far – will put him into the early lead.
Hello and a very good morning, afternoon, evening, or night to wherever you're joining us from in the world.
I'm ZK Goh and I'll be here to guide you through this final competition day at the Worlds.
On tap this morning and afternoon, the men's free skating as Hanyu Yuzuru looks for his first world championship win in four years.
Then later this evening, the free dance.
The first group of men is on the ice and of note, skating sixth in this group, China's Jin Boyang – fourth at the 2018 Olympic Games. Also in this group is Morisi Kvitelashvili of Georgia, the only men's skater in the competition training under Eteri Tutberidze.