Figure skating: Teenager Chen dethrones Gold, Wagner to take first US national title

Karen Chen reacts to her score after her free skate performance at the US National Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City on Jan 21, 2017.
Karen Chen reacts to her score after her free skate performance at the US National Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City on Jan 21, 2017.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS
Teenager Karen Chen (above) claimed her first national title in Kansas City on Jan 22, 2017.
Teenager Karen Chen (above) claimed her first national title in Kansas City on Jan 22, 2017.PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

(Agence France-Presse) - Teenager Karen Chen claimed her first national title in startling fashion by upsetting the favourites in the free skate at the US National Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City.

The 17-year-old dynamo became the first skater since 2011 to win the title other than Ashley Wagner or defending champion Gracie Gold.

After a record performance in Thursday's short programme, Chen posted the top free skate score on Saturday for a combined total of 214.22.

Wagner finished second with 211.78 points and Mariah Bell won the bronze. Gold finished well back in sixth.

Chen delivered an emotional free skate to the track Tango Jalousie at the Spirit Centre.

"I skated such a great short and I was definitely thrilled with it," Chen said. "So I had some pressure going into the long, thinking I really had a chance at this."

Earlier in the day, Maia and Alex Shibutani won their second straight ice dance title while Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier returned from an injury to capture the pairs crown.