Chock and Bates win free dance, U.S. in silver position in figure skating team event

chock and bates - Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

chock and bates – Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished first in the free dance portion of the figure skating team event as the United States sits in position for the silver medal with just the women’s free skate remaining.

Chock and Bates scored 129.07, besting the 128.17 put up by the ROC’s Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov to make a statement on the world’s figure skating stage.

The ROC still looks poised for gold in the figure skating team event. They have 64 points, with the U.S. at 58 points and Japan in bronze position at 54 points. Karen Chen will skate for the U.S. against Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto, while Kamila Valieva will attempt to close out the gold for the ROC.

The United States and Japan entered the free dance portion of the team event tied for second with 48 points, seven behind the ROC. The ROC had extended their lead in the pairs’ free skate, opening up a commanding seven-point lead heading into the free dance.

Chock and Bates — co-captains of the U.S. team and a couple off the ice — made their debut in Olympics team events, after they were passed over in both 2014 and 2018.

The United States had entered the final day of the team event in second place and was guaranteed a medal with 42 points. But it trailed the ROC by three points, and was also three points ahead of third-place Japan.

The Americans have claimed bronze in the team event in the past two Olympics. 

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