olympics

No Pyeongchang Olympics for Wagner

US name three-member figure skating squad for Winter Games

AFP
14:03 January 7, 2018
 Ashley Wagner

Los Angeles: US Figure Skating champion Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen are headed to the Pyeongchang Olympics, selectors said on Saturday as world silver medallist Ashley Wagner failed to make the team.

USA Figure Skating’s selection committee announced the three women that would compete at next month’s Winter Games on Saturday morning in the wake of their one-two-three finish at the national championships in San Jose, California, on Friday night.

Wagner, who finished fourth, was named as an alternate.

Tennell, 19, has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season and earned her first Olympic berth with a near-flawless free skate on Friday.

“I knew it was an Olympic year, and I knew that somebody has to go, so I just kind of kept it in the back of my mind all season,” said Tennell, whose past two seasons were disrupted by back injuries.

Nagasu is returning to the Olympics eight years after a fourth-placed finish in Vancouver. She failed to make the 2014 team, despite finishing third at the national championship that year but Wagner, who finished fourth then, got the nod thanks to a stronger overall performance that season.

“I’m aware that I’m the oldest here tonight, but I really feel like the comeback kid,” Nagasu said on Friday.

Chen, 18, gained the bronze by just 2.4 points over Wagner. The 2017 US champion and fourth-placed finisher at last year’s world championships, made the podium and the Olympic team despite battling illness this week.

Three-time US champion Wagner, the only US woman to win an individual Olympic or world medal in the last decade, said she was “furious” on Friday with the marks her free skate to “La La Land” received.

She was more conciliatory on her Twitter feed on Saturday. “As a senior competitor with over 10 years of experience, I’m allowed to question things,” she wrote. “At the end of the day, I laid out my best and I’m going home proud! Congrats to the lovely ladies of the team, you’ve got me in your cheering squad now!”