Los Angeles, Feb 9: Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan rallied in the free skating and came from fourth place to strike gold in the men's singles event at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Anaheim, California on Saturday.
Defending champion Jin Boyang of China earned the silver medal while American skater Vincent Zhou took the bronze.
Uno was drawn to skate first in the last group and set the tone for an exciting final. Skating to "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven, the world silver medalist opened with a quad flip and quad toeloop followed by a triple loop, quad toe-double toe, two triple Axels and two more clean triples.
At the end, Uno collapsed onto the ice and remained kneeling for a few seconds before getting up and acknowledging the crowd. He posted a season's best with 197.36 points and racked up 289.12 points overall to win the title.
"There weren't a lot of happy emotions when I collapsed, it was like 'I really did it'," the 21-year-old said. "I thought about how I was injured and how I can bring it to the next level."
"I don't want to be caught up with rankings in the program, but I am very happy with how I did with the program and to score first place. It was my first big medal at the senior level. For the worlds next month, I want to practice more and win the world title."
Jin set a season's best with 181.34 points and pulled up second at 273.51 points. "Overall I did quite well, but there were little mistakes in both programs," the Chinese champion said. "Before the worlds I wanted to pull out a better performance here, so I am a little frustrated I wasn't able to do what I've done in practice."
American skater Zhou, who finished first in the short program, slipped to third at 272.22 points, but he said he's happy with the result.
"I am very proud of myself at this competition for continuing the upward trend I put myself on. I'm looking forward to the next month's worlds and will continue to improve the consistency. I expect myself to improve even more. I really want my skating to be something that everyone can enjoy, watch because they love watching good skating, freedom on the ice, and that's what I hope to show at the worlds and in competitions after that," Zhou said. (UNI-Xinhua)