Sports

US figure skaters in good shape despite stumbles

Team USA in 2nd place after first day of event

Despite some stumbles Friday in the Olympic figure skating event, the U.S. finds themselves in good shape after the first day of the event.

Two-time defending U.S. champion Nathan Chen landed the Olympics' first-ever quad flip, but later fell during a triple axel attempt and had other issues during his short program at the PyeongChang Games.

He scored 80.61 for his performance, good enough for fourth place among the 10 men in the team competition and seven points in the event's overall standings.

Husband-and-wife pairs combo Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim turned in a better performance, surviving a near fall from Scimeca Knierim, but still finished fourth in their portion of the event for another seven points.

The combined performance leaves the U.S. in second place overall with 14 points, behind Canada's 17 points. The Japanese and Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) teams were tied for third place with 13 points each.

Shoma Uno of Japan took the top spot in the men's short program, followed by Alexei Bychenko of Israel in second and Patrick Chan of Canada in third.

OAR skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov placed atop the pairs short program standings, with Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in second and Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany in third.

Chen, an 18-year-old out of Salt Lake City, won his second straight national title last month in San Jose, while the Knierims won a second national title to go with their 2015 championship.

The team event is making only its second appearance at the Olympics, having debuted in Sochi, where the U.S. took home bronze.

Canada was favored to win gold going into the event after taking silver four years ago.

After a day off following Friday's opening ceremony, the event will continue Sunday and Monday mornings in PyeongChang, which will be primetime in the United States.

The top five teams will advance after the short programs for men, women, pairs and ice dancing, with the free skate portion beginning with the pairs figure skaters Sunday afternoon local time (11:40 p.m. ET Saturday).

Medals will be awarded after the final discipline, the ice dancing free dance, which is set for 10:20 p.m. ET Sunday.


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