World Championships 2024: Mens Recap

© International Skating Union (ISU)

The Men’s event closed out the 2024 World Championships. It was a thrilling event, including a world-record breaking skate from Malinin, an unforgettable comeback performance from Siao Him Fa, and moving performances from athletes including Uno, Brown and Vasiljevs. With the medalists from the previous events this season going head-to-head and putting out quality programs, it was no doubt a competition for the books. Here is the rundown of what went on!

Results

🥇 Ilia Malinin (USA)
🥈 Yuma Kagiyama (Japan)
🥉 Adam Siao Him Fa (France)

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Winning his first World Championship title was Ilia Malinin of the USA with 333.76 points and two technically outstanding performances. In his ‘Malaguena’ short program, he nailed the quad toe and quad lutz-triple toe with seeming ease, racking up points with grades of execution. He landed the triple axel in time with the music, and the step sequence showed how he is continuing to work on and push his components; Shae-Lynn Bourne’s choreography gives him the opportunity and space to do this. Coming into the FS in third place, he set a new World Record of 227.79 points in the long program, where he performed to the soundtrack of ‘Succession’, and the skate underscored his incredible technical prowess. He put out the quad axel with +3.93 GOE, and landed all his following jump passes, which included a quad lutz, quad loop, and quad salchow in the first half of the program. He opened the second half of his skate with a clean quad lutz-euler-triple flip, and secured level fours on two spins and the step sequence. He also included his now-signature raspberry twist in the choreo sequence.

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Yuma Kagiyama of Japan was second with 309.65 points. In his electric ‘Believer’ short program, he nailed the quad salchow, and carried the quality through into his following two jumping passes. His spins as always were neat and centered, and the skate closed out with the high energy, intense step sequence where he matched the energy beat for beat, and a quality spin. The free skate to ‘Rain, In Your Black Eyes’ saw him nail the opening quad salchow and following quad flip. He fell on the triple axel in the second half of the skate with a loss of balance on the landing, but demonstrated unwavering focus despite the mistake. The piece has many different tonalities, speeds and volumes, and Kagiyama picked up on all of these in his expression. With a PCS of 93.61, he had the highest components score of the medalists. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Adam Siao Him Fa of France was 19th after the short program but delivered a phenomenal comeback skate to finish in third place with 284.39 points. He had a tough SP, with a step out of the quad lutz, and following this with a struggle to maintain the balance on his triple axel. His third jumping pass, the quad toe, had a heavy lean and thus a fall, meaning that he was unable to put out a combination. He shook off the mistakes from the short program in his free skate, nailing the opening quad lutz and the quad toe-triple toe which followed. Here, his jumps had security to them, and were rewarded with high grades of execution. The second quad toe had impressive height on the element, and he showcased an aerial in the choreo sequence which had both speed and control. Siao Him Fa opted for a back flip in the skate as well, incurring a -2 deduction, but earning resounding cheers from the audience. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Last year’s world champion, Shoma Uno of Japan was first after the short program but sixth in the free skate to finish fourth. He landed his quad flip in the SP to the silence which precedes the ‘Clair de Lune’ section of music and went on to pull off the quad toe-triple toe and triple axel. The step sequence plays with levels and different textures of movements, and each element flowed into one another; Uno delivered the program as a cohesive whole. His free skate takes the opposite route from the vast majority of programs: it starts off with faster pace, dynamic music then transitions into quiet, meditative ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’. He inscribed this gradual diminuendo with emotion and movement but struggled with the jumping passes. He fell on the opening quad loop and stepped out from the quad flip. Although he regathered to land the quad toe-double toe, he had a hand down from the triple axel-euler-triple flip combination in the second half of the skate and seemed to have to fight for each jump. 

Jason Brown of the USA was fifth overall. His short program to Clementine’s ‘Adios’ was a magnetic performance; he is a skater who pays equal attention to both the lyrics and music of pieces he skates to, and performs to both elements. He was clean on all of the jumps, and his spins were masterful as always. The step sequence, given +1.73 GOE, opened with a high kick, and had detailed and defined footwork. Brown delivered a touching performance to ‘The Impossible Dream’ for the free skate. He nailed both triple axels but popped the third axel into just a single. It is difficult to convey music using a spin, and reflect lyrics in the midst of the element, but Brown does just this, and the transitions in his combination spin were sublime. He built up with skill towards the choreo sequence, which coincided with the buildup of the piece. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Switzerland’s Lukas Britschgi was sixth in Montreal. He pulled off the quad toe-triple toe combination in his short program, and followed up with a strong triple axel. There is a fun transition into the upbeat second half of his program, and he delivered an engaging and entertaining performance. In his free skate, he landed both quad toes, and was clean also on all other jumping passes, save from a salchow in combination popped into a double. It will be interesting to see what he chooses to do next season and what avenues he takes choreographically and artistically. 

Deniss Vasiljevs from Latvia was seventh, and eighth in both the short and free programs. His ‘Hallelujah’ short program was a highlight. He combines a freedom of movement with control, varying the speed of motion, from fast footwork and movements to well-timed moments of stillness. There was intention in every movement and detail inscribed into every shape that he created. It was a technically strong skate as well from the Latvian, and he closed out his jumping passes with a huge triple axel. He reprised his 2018 Lion King exhibition program for his free skate. Although he popped the opening salchow into a double, he delivered a beautiful triple lutz-triple toe combination, with good flow and distance across the element. The speed of rotation in his spins is outstanding. He landed the triple axel in time with the climax of the music coming out of his step sequence. The choreo sequence was both moving and vibrant, and he performed and delivered ‘The Circle of Life’ to the max.  

Kao Miura of Japan was tenth after the short program, but rose to eighth place overall. His short program has pushed him artistically this season, and he continues to grow musically. He hung onto the landing of the triple axel, but had a hard fall on the quad toe, missing out on the combination. He had two falls in his free skate, but landed two quad toeloops with success. He was much stronger in the latter half of his program, perhaps settling into the performance more. 

Junhwan Cha of the Republic of Korea was tenth. He was strong on the quad salchow in the short program to ‘Masquerade Waltz’ but fell on the triple toe added in combination to it. He transitioned straight from the triple axel into the spit spin. He reflected the intensity of his ‘Batman’ program well in the free skate, landing the quad salchow in the performance’s opening. He popped a toeloop into a single, and fell on the second triple axel, but gave memorable step and choreo sequences. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

European bronze medalist Aleksandr Selevko of Estonia was eleventh in Montreal. He hung onto the quad toe in his short program, but had a flawless triple axel, and shone in the step sequence. He had a planned quad lutz in his free skate but put out a triple. He is a powerful and athletic performer, and his camel spin included his trademark heel spin. 

Nikolaj Memola of Italy was strong in the short program, nailing the quad lutz and following two jumping passes, and was sixth after the first day with a TSS of 93.10. He had more difficulty in the free skate and dropped to ninth overall. Donovan Carrillo put out a memorable short program, which highlighted his charisma and earned him 80.19 points, with which he was overjoyed: his reaction in the Kiss and Cry was a highlight. 

Click here to watch our recap livestream with Corey Circelli!

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