During Thursday’s women’s free skate in Pyongyang on Thursday, American skaters again failed to deliver clean performances, dashing their hopes for an individual medal.
All three American women had faltered in their short programs earlier in the week. Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen, and Bradie Tennell finished in 9th, 10th, and 11th places respectively.
Karen Chen, the first American to take the ice, had a technically flawed program. The 18-year-old from California scored 119.75 points in the free skate. Skating to “Jalousie,” she fell on one jump and failed to complete a second cleanly.
“She really is the best of the U.S. ladies in skating skill,” Tara Lipinski said during coverage of the competition. “If her jumps were under control, she’d be a contender.”
Next up for the United States was Bradie Tennell, who shocked viewers with a rare fall during her short program. During Thursday’s performance, Tennell began well but then failed to complete a pair of jumps late in the program. Skating to the theme from “Cinderella,” her jump-packed performance earned her the top score amongst the Americans, 192.35
Dare I say it: the nightmare continues. Bradie Tennell won nationals and was put on the US team because she always lands her jumps. Then she fell in the short program and made two big mistakes on jumps here. My goodness.
— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) February 23, 2018
Bradie Tennell's fall on her opening combination was her first fall in 34 jumping passes in four main competitions this season. She was the only elite international skater to come into the Olympics without a fall.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 21, 2018
Marai Nagasu was the last hope for the American ladies, but she, too, faltered. Nagusu turned her first triple jump into a single, which cost her technical points. She also fell out of a triple lutz, turning it into a single. Sporting kinesiology tape on her right thigh, she completed the rest of the program cleanly. But the missed jumps hurt her technical score. She came away with a total of 119.61 points, putting her out of contention for a medal. Her score was the lowest of the American skaters.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 21, 2018
After stellar performances by several other skaters, all of the Americans were out of contention for a medal.
PJM will update this article when the final results are available.