US figure skater Chen wins 3rd straight Grand Prix Finals

US figure skater Chen wins 3rd straight Grand Prix Finals
United States' Nathan Chen reacts after competing in the men's free skating during the figure skating Grand Prix finals at the Palavela ice arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

TURIN, Italy (AP) — American figure skater Nathan Chen won the Grand Prix Finals for the third season in a row Saturday, beating Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu by a dominant 44-point margin.

Chen and Hanyu both landed five quadruple jumps in their free skates, but Chen skated his program clean to score a total 335.20 points, while Hanyu made crucial errors.

Chen became only the second men’s skater to win the Grand Prix Finals three times in a row. The only other skater to have done that is Hanyu, who won four straight competitions from 2013 through 2016.

Hanyu dropped points late in the program with just a single Axel instead of a triple. The Japanese skater crouched on the ice at the end of his skate and looked exhausted, scoring 291.43.

It was the second consecutive skate with uncharacteristic errors from Hanyu, who missed a combination in Friday’s short program.

Skating last, Chen had a long wait to take to the ice while the rink was cleared of stuffed toys thrown by Hanyu’s legion of passionate fans.

Kevin Aymoz took bronze to become the first French man to win a medal in the Grand Prix Finals since Brian Joubert won 13 years ago.

Aymoz landed a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination, but fell on another quad toeloop, as he scored 275.63. He and his coach were in tears when they heard the score.

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