The United States leads the way after the first day of competition at 2019 World Team Trophy in Fukuoka, Japan. The men, ladies and ice dancers earned a competition leading 50 points on Thursday.
“This is my first time at a team event and what a great way to start,” team captain Madison Hubbell said. “Team USA had all very strong performances. We have a team of Olympic members, U.S. champions, World medalists and World Team members. Today showed how strong of a team we are.”
The American men stole the show with a one-two finish in the men’s short program. Nathan Chen, two-time reigning World Champion, won the short program with 101.95 points, to give the United States 12 team points. Vincent Chen followed up on his bronze medal performance at Worlds with a 100.51-point short program to finish second earn the United States 11 team points.
Reigning World bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue kicked off the competition with 82.86 points in their rhythm dance. The finish earned the Americans ten team points.
The American ladies, both coming off of top ten finishes at Worlds last month, earned 17 total team points. Bradie Tennell scored a season’s best 74.81 points in her short program to finish the segment in fourth place. Mariah Bell finished the segment in fifth place after scoring 70.89 points.
Japan is in second place (48 points) followed by Russia (38 points).
The competition continues Friday and concludes on Saturday. Fans can watch World Team Trophy live with the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold <https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/figure-skating?utm_campaign=United%20States%20Leading%20After%20Day%20One%20of%20Competition%20at%20World%20Team%20Trophy&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&elqTrackId=2fda4f25463541ad8145d68713fceda9&elq=b7ffbf19f9704df0b5b94ffcf6ff9fd6&elqaid=1547&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=1053>.
The event features the six best figure skating teams of the 2018-19 season, which includes Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States. Each team consists of two ladies, two men, one pairs team and one ice dance team. Each skater/team will receive points based on placements in the short program/rhythm dance and free skate/dance. The points will be combined across the four disciplines with the highest point total winning.
Held every odd year, Team USA has medaled in all five World Team Trophy events. Most recently, Team USA took third in the event in 2017, scoring 97 points. The United States won the inaugural 2009 competition, earned silver in 2012 (held in an even year because the 2011 event was postponed due to an earthquake and tsunami in Japan) and won gold in 2013 and 2015.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com