one year ago, Ilya Malinin He came into the US Championships as, by and large, an unknown 17-year-old. He finished second Nathan Chen in 2022 and was dropped from the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a decision by the committee that set him on fire.
After, after The biggest year of change for US snowboarding in three decadesMalinin came into this week’s Nationals in San Jose, California, where he was ranked No. 1 in the all-major.
Even though he fell on his quad axel and doubled two more planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.
Malinin, the world’s second-ranked singles skater, still managed two clean quadruples in the short program on Friday and three more on Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and won 10.43 over the two-time Olympian Jason Browna bridge between the eras of Qin and Malinin.
“I guess I wasn’t ready to give birth that day,” Malinin, who was trying to become the second man to land six quads in a single program after Chen, told NBC. “I was really, really confident, and I think I was overthinking everything and trying to get ahead of myself. But I think it’s all right.”
Snowboarding Nationals: Full results
Competing for the first time since finishing sixth at the Olympics, Brown, 28, has become the oldest singles skater to finish in the top three nationally since then. Jeremy Abbott He won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he did not attempt a quadruple but had the highest technical score with 9.41 points.
Brown’s total of seven finishes in the top three nationally tied him with Chen, Michael WeissAnd Brian BoitanoAnd David Jenkins And have a button second in men’s singles since World War II, just behind Todd Eldredge‘sand Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.
“I’m not saying he’s too old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after the short program on Friday. “What Elijah is doing and the way he pushes this sport is just incredible and amazing to watch. I just can’t keep up.”
Andrew Torgashev He took home the bronze medal, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Turgachev, who competed at the national level for the first time since finishing fifth in 2020 at the age of 18, is likely to make the world’s three-man squad.
Japan few of you It is likely to be the favorite in the world. He won the world title last year, when Malinin broke under pressure in the free skate after a short program for fourth place and ended up ninth.
That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad axel in competition. That was before she became Malinin the The story of the snowboarding world this fall. That was before Malinin took the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and is not expected to return to the competition.
Malinin’s next step is to get another tag that Chen Long carried: the best in the world. To do this, it must be better than it was on Sunday.
“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit so that it doesn’t happen again.”
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