What an incredible day of skating today, October 25, 2014 at Skate America. The men’s free skate commenced this evening with some stellar performances.
Japan’s Tatsuki Machida was in the lead after the short program by twelve points, but after his phenomenal free skate, Machida not only won the event, he won it by the largest margin in Skate America history. Tatsuki stomped his competitors by 34.92 points and is now the first repeat men’s Skate America champion in 13 years.
Machida opened with a beautiful quad toe, followed by a quad toe-double toe combination along with a gorgeous triple axel-triple toe loop combination and the program just continued to soar from there. Not only did Tatsuki display his pristine technical abilities, he also showed a great amount of passion and artistry. This is Machida’s second consecutive win at Skate America and it very well deserving even more so this time around.
Jason Brown struggled on some of his elements tonight, falling on his second triple axel and making some additional mistakes, but he still managed to hold on and capture the silver medal. Brown had some quality moments within his program that were absolutely wonderful. He has such a unique artistic ability and incorporated some very difficult transitions throughout his program.
“I did fall, but it’s all part of that growing experience,” Brown said in a USFS press release following the event. “I had a few slips after that but I was fighting through the whole thing and I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of the integrity of the program,” Jason explained. “I’m really excited about that recovery and it makes me that much more excited about the growth to come with the program.”
Surprising but certainly not shocking, Canadian Nam Nguyen climbed all the way up from seventh in the short to claim the bronze after a strong free skate. He may only be sixteen years-old, but this kid has a lot to offer. With Brian Orser as his coach, this young man has already learned how to connect with the audience and have fun while landing a gorgeous quad salchow. It was certainly an amazing debut for Nam.
Jeremy Abbott, who was in second place after the short program, had a difficult free skate. He opened with a double toe loop, which was probably intended to be a quad and from there his jumps were unpredictable. The program itself was captivating, but he did not have that same ease that he displayed in his short program. Abbott finished in fifth place.
“I’m obviously disappointed with how I skated, but I think it’s still good steps forward,” Jeremy said in a USFS press release. “This was just more mileage to the rest of the season. Not what I wanted because I wanted a trip to the Grand Prix Final this year, especially in Barcelona and my last season competing, but I think the most important competition for me is Worlds.”
There were a lot of highs and lows in tonight’s men’s event, but it was an exciting start to the Grand Prix. The ladies and pairs will take to the ice for their free skate tomorrow, October 26 for the final two events of Skate America.
Final standings after the free skate:
1. Tatsuki Machida JPN – 269.09 WATCH NOW
2. Jason Brown USA – 234.17 WATCH NOW
3. Nam Nguyen CAN – 232.24 WATCH NOW
4. Denis Ten KAZ – 224.74 WATCH NOW
5. Jeremy Abbott USA – 219.33 WATCH NOW
6. Adian Pitkeev RUS – 212.07
7. Chafik Besseghier FRA – 208.70 WATCH NOW
8. Douglas Razzano USA – 204.48 WATCH NOW
9. Artur Gachinski RUS – 200.13 WATCH NOW
10. Michael Christian Martinez PHI – 197.58 WATCH NOW
11. Alexei Bychenko ISR – 185.98 WATCH NOW
12. Jorik Hendrickx BEL – 177.43 WATCH NOW