Chen outclasses field in France to lock up spot in final

Chen outclasses field in France to lock up spot in final
US' Nathan Chen competes in the Men Free skating program during the ISU figure skating France's Trophy, in Grenoble, French Alps, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

GRENOBLE, France (AP) — World champion Nathan Chen won the last round of figure skating’s Grand Prix series and secured a spot in next month’s final with a pulsating free skate at the Internationaux de France on Saturday.

Oozing confidence despite an untidy short program on Friday, the American skater outclassed the field in the free skate, scoring 184.64 for an event-winning total of 271.58.

Victory ensured him a spot in the Dec. 6-9 final in Vancouver, Canada, reserved for the top six skaters or pairs in each discipline from the Grand Prix series of six events.

Chen also won the series’ first event, Skate America, in October.

The 19-year-old’s free skate in the French Alpine city of Grenoble featured three tough quad jumps.

Fellow American Jason Brown was second overall, placing third in the free skate with a more pedestrian routine that lacked quads. Brown also avoided quads in winning the short program on Friday. His overall score was 256.33.

Third overall, with a score of 247.09, was Alexander Samarin of Russia.

Neither Brown nor Samarin finished among the series’ top six.

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