Chen rebounds from rare loss to win Skate Canada title

Figure Skating: 2021 Skate America
Oct 23, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Nathan Chen (USA) compete pairs free skate during the 2021 Skate America figure skating competition at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Three-time reigning world champion Nathan Chen rebounded from a rare loss with a dominating performance to win Skate Canada in Vancouver on Saturday and reaffirm his status as a gold-medal favourite for next year's Beijing Olympics.

Chen, one week removed from Skate America in Las Vegas where he suffered his first loss since the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, was comfortably in first place after Friday's short program and returned to score 200.46 points in Saturday's free skate.

The 22-year-old American's 307.18 total at the second Grand Prix event of the Olympic figure skating season left him atop the podium while compatriot Jason Brown (259.55) took second and Russian Evgeni Semenenko (256.01) finished third.

In Las Vegas, Chen was unable to overcome a shaky short program where he fell on his opening quadruple Lutz en route to a third place finish behind fellow American Vincent Zhou and Japan's Uno Shoma, both of whom did not compete this week.

But there was no such drama this week as Chen, determined to get back on top, dazzled in a free skate performed to a Mozart compilation during which he delivered four quads and a triple Lutz while showcasing great contrast and style.

The Grand Prix season this year will feature a full six-event schedule that includes international lineups, after travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic limited it to just four events last season.

Japan's double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who was unable to defend his 2019 Skate Canada title as last year's event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is not competing until week four of the Grand Prix season in Tokyo.

The third stop of the Olympic figure skating season will be held in Torino, Italy, from Nov. 5-7.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.