Chen Wins World Title, Hubbell and Donohue Take Silver at 2018 World Championships

(3/24/18)—The United States took home two medals on Saturday at the 2018 ISU World Figure Skating Championship in Milan, Italy.

Nathan Chen won his first World title, topping the field by nearly fifty points.

Chen earned a personal best of 219.46 points in his free skate on Saturday (321.40 overall) to clinch his first World medal. He is the first U.S. man to be World champion since Evan Lysacek accomplished the feat in 2009.

“I’m so happy about this, especially after not having the greatest skates at the Olympics and then being able to come not long after and do what I did here,” Chen said. “I think I learned a lot from the Olympics and it helped me here.”

The United States also earned three sports for next year’s World Championships with an 11th place finish by Max Aaron.

Aaron earned 161.71 points on Saturday for 241.49 overall and an 11th place finish.

“I’m just so happy to be here and help support Team USA,” Aaron said. “I’m happy I got to do my job to the best of my ability and just help support [Nathan and Vincent].”

Vincent Zhou, who was second after the short program, earned 138.46 points on Saturday (235.24 overall). He finished 14th overall.

“This week has been extremely difficult for me,” Zhou said. “Two days before I left for Worlds, I started having back pain and I was struggling with that this week. My practices have been horrible, but I was able to do well in the short program because I have a great medical team here working on me. I’m not using my back as an excuse but I haven’t had the proper muscle memory this week. The last time I skated a clean long was before I left. It’s no excuse for today. I think I was just tired. I think I should have taken yesterday to rest a little more but it’s my first Worlds and my first international season as a senior. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this season.”

Japan’s Shoma Uno finished second and Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada was third.

In the ice dance event, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue picked up another medal for the United States, winning the silver medal with a 116.22 point free dance. The team earned 196.64 points overall. Both were career highs.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to sink in," Hubbell said. "We’re just really proud with how far we have come and the performance we were able to give under that pressure of skating last. It was a great audience and we’re really excited that this is our start to the next four years.”

Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished just off the podium, earning 111.62 points on Saturday (187.28 overall) to finish fifth.

“We feel great about our performance,” Chock said. “To me, it was the best performance we’ve done all season. To be able to do that at the World Championships is a really good feeling. It’s great to be able to cap off our season like that.”

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who had an unlucky fall in the short dance, rebounded nicely with 101.80 points on Saturday for 165.28 overall and a tenth place finish. This event was their World Championship debut.

“We’re excited about where we can go from here in the future,” Hawayek said. “We put out a really solid showing today and left our hearts out there. It’s a program that’s very close to us and one that we’ve had for the last two seasons. I think we felt like we closed the book on it today in a very rewarding way.”

The French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won the gold medal and the Canadian pair of Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje took home the bronze medal.

Full results from the event can be found here.