sports

Hubbell, Donohue win third ice dance title at US Figure Skating Championships

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won their third career national title at the 2021 US Figure Skating Championships in Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena on Saturday night.

“We’re pretty thrilled to be here with this awesome opportunity that US Figure Skating set up for us,” Donohue said. “We’re very grateful for this. It feels amazing to be back in Vegas and to get another US title.”

Previously, Hubbell and Donohue were US champions in 2018 and 2019. They scored 134.90 points in their free dance for 224.56 total points. Both are US Championships records.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates earned the silver medal with 132.83 points in the free dance for 222.93 total points. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean Luc Baker finished third with 212.55 total points.

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier won their first US title as a team in the pairs competition, earning 228.10 total points after their 150.64-point free skate.

Knierim won the US title in 2015 and 2020 with her husband and former partner Chris. Frazier won the US title in 2017 with his former partner Haven Denney. Chris has retired after winning the 2020 title.

“We are elated with our performance,” Knierim said. “Very, very pleased with it. It was a fight for us out there. We’re very proud of what we put out there, we worked very hard, and we’re excited for the future.”

Knierim and Frazier set a new US Championships record in the short program, free skate and total score.

In the men’s short program, Nathan Chen led the way with a US Championships record 113.92-point short program. Coming into this competition, Chen has won four straight US titles.

“I’m thrilled with the short program today,” Chen said. “I made a couple of little bobbles on the landings and I wish I had skated those a little bit cleaner. But overall I’m really happy with the program, and just thrilled to be here. This whole season has just been crazy, and everything is just so unexpected. So the fact that we’re all here, that we’re all healthy, that we’re able to do this, is just incredible.”

Vincent Zhou is close behind after earning 107.79 points. He has medaled in four straight US Championships. Jason Brown is third with 100.92 points.

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