Chock and Bates defend their title and win 4th USA ice dance gold

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Madison Chock and Evan Bates successfully defended their ice dance title Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, scoring 137.85 in the free dance for a total score of 229.75.

The recently engaged couple have won national championship medals every season since 2013. That’s 11 straight years, matching former training mates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (2012-22) for the most consecutive years on the American ice dance podium.

Caroline Green and Michael Parsons won the silver medal with a free dance score of 126.06 for their set program to “Rhapsody in Blue”, while Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, who were fourth after the short program, took scored 121.08 and moved up a berth to take bronze. Emilea Zingas and Vadym Kolesnik continued a strong first season as partners, finishing fourth with a 119.95.

In a free dance inspired by the relationship between fire and air that was languorous and sizzling, Chock and Bates achieved near-perfect scores on their program components, which factor in skating skill and artistry.

Chock and Bates, Hubbell and Donohue, and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker have held the top three podium spots for the past four years. But Hubbell and Donohue retired, and Hawayek and Baker pulled out of nationals to prioritize their physical and mental health.

Ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani, along with US Figure Skating Foundation President and Trustee Paul E. George, were inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame at the event.

The Shibutani siblings are two-time national champions and three-time world medalists, and hold the distinction of being the first athletes of Asian descent to medal in Olympic ice dancing when they won the bronze medal at the Games. of Pyeongchang in 2018.


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