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Ilia Malinin Bests Yuma Kagiyama to Capture the World Title

In shattering Nathan Chen's free skate record for points, Ilia Malinin had a phenomenal performance and dethroned two-time champion Shoma Uno.



Ilia Malinin
Ilia Malinin performs in the men’s free skate at the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, on March 23. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Ilia Malinin Bests Yuma Kagiyama to Capture the World Title

It took a performance for the ages to deny Yuma Kagiyama his first world title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Canada, on Saturday night, March 23, and that is what American Ilia Malinin delivered.

The 19-year-old shattered the free skate record of 224.92 points set by Nathan Chen at the 2019 Grand Prix Final with 227.79, on the way to a whopping total score of 333.76 to win the gold medal. Malinin's phenomenal show included six fully rotated quadruple jumps.

A valiant effort by Kagiyama still came up more than 24 points short as the 20-year-old finished with 309.65 to get the silver. France's Adam Siao Him Fa used an epic rally to come from 19th after the short program all the way to claim the bronze at 284.39.

Ilia Malinin
Men's gold medalist Ilia Malinin (center), runner-up Yuma Kagiyama (left) and third-place finisher Adam Siao Him Fa wear their world championships medals after the competition ended. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Two-time world champion Shoma Uno finished off the podium in fourth place on 280.85 after falling on his first two jumps. American Jason Brown came in fifth with 274.33.

Kao Miura moved up to finish eighth at 254.72 after being 10th following the short program.

Ilia Malinin
Ilia Malinin exhibits exceptional jumping ability in his free skate. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Ilia Malinin Delivers a Mind-Blowing Performance

Malinin's historic outing to "Succession" began with a humongous quad axel, which he followed with a quad lutz, quad loop and quad salchow. The 2024 GP Final titlist went on to add another quad lutz and a quad toe loop, while also hitting four triples.


The young star received level fours on two of his spins and his step sequence. His mind-blowing outing will surely install him as the favorite for the gold at the 2026 Olympics.

"I'm just so happy to be here now," Malinin stated after his victory. "The last few weeks I had so many problems physically and mentally. I want to thank the crowd here for cheering me on."

Added Malinin, "There was a little voice in my head saying, 'No matter what you have to keep fighting, to keep going, no matter how bad or good you feel you just have to know what you're capable of and stick to the training you have been through.' "

Yuma Kagiyama competes in the men's free skate. (KYODO)

Kagiyama Rebounds From Fall on Triple Axel Landing

Kagiyama skated to "Rain, in Your Black Eyes" and opened with a quad salchow, then a quad flip and a quad toe loop. He was rolling along up until the midway point of his program when his feet got tangled on the landing of his second triple axel and he fell.

The Beijing Olympic medalist bounced up and proceeded to reel off the remainder of his routine without incident, exhibiting beautiful line and edge. Kagiyama landed five triples in addition to the three quads, and posted level fours on all of his spins and step sequence.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jack Gallagher

The author is a veteran sports journalist and one of the world's foremost figure skating experts. Find articles and podcasts by Jack on his author page, and find him on X (formerly Twitter) @sportsjapan.


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