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Nathan Chen wins men’s crown at US figure skating championships

Nathan Chen performs during the men's free skate event at the US Figure Skating Championships on Saturday night.Tony Avelar/AP

Nathan Chen dazzled once again with his remarkable athleticism to pull off breathtaking quadruple jumps, skating the final routine to a commanding US national championship Saturday night in San Jose, Calif. Chen, 18, all but secured his spot for next month’s Pyeongchang Games, with the US Olympic selections set to be announced Sunday morning. Chen completed five quads to beat second-place Ross Miner with a total score of 315.23 — a startling 40.72-point lead. Third-place Vincent Zhou, a 17-year-old rising star skating in his hometown to ‘‘Moulin Rouge!’’ attempted five quads and completed four in his technically difficult program — one quad was in combination with a triple — for a score of 273.83. Chen opened with a quad flip-triple toe loop combination at full speed and with flair, and never looked back. Chen, sporting all black, singled his planned triple axel as his only flaw. It hardly mattered with all those memorable quads. Besides the first combination, he also did a quadruple flip stand-alone, quad toe loop with a double toe loop combination, and a quad toe and quad salchow on their own . . . The husband-and-wife duo of Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim captured the national pairs title, likely securing an Olympic berth. The pairs team, three men, and three ice dance couples that will go to PyeongChang will be announced Sunday.

3 named to Olympic skating team, but Wagner an alternate

Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu, and Karen Chen, the top three finishers at US Figure Skating Championships, were selected Saturday to the national team for the PyeongChang Olympics. Three-time US champ Ashley Wagner, who complained about the marks after the free skate Friday night and finished fourth in San Jose, Calif., was named the top alternate. Tennell, 19, won the US crown, ahead of Chen, 18, and Nagasu, 24. It’s the first Olympic team for Tennell and Chen, and Nagasu’s second.


Shiffrin stays unbeaten in 2018

Defending overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin won a women’s World Cup giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, to stretch her winning streak for 2018 to three races. The American is the first female skier with three straight wins at the start of a year since Vreni Schneider of Switzerland in 1989. Shiffrin beat world GS champion Tessa Worley of France by 0.31 seconds . . . Marcel Hirscher edged Henrik Kristoffersen for victory in a World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, and rose to third on the men’s all-time wins list. First-run leader Hirscher finished 0.17 seconds ahead of his Norwegian rival for his third GS win this season. Kristoffersen has been runner-up each time in a rivalry that shapes as one of Alpine skiing’s best heading into the PyeongChang Olympics. With his 51st career World Cup win, the 28-year-old Austrian broke a tie with Alberto Tomba . . . American Ted Ligety skied out in the second run on a darkening course after being eighth fastest in the morning sunshine.



Erving released from hospital

Hall of Famer Julius Erving was released from a Philadelphia hospital after he became ill at a 76ers game on Friday night. Erving’s management team said Erving, 67, had undergone a comprehensive medical evaluation and was expected to make a full recovery. They did not provide further details . . . Veteran center Andrew Bogut was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers after 24 games with the club. Bogut, 33, averaged 1.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while starting five games.



Svitolina, Halep pick up WTA titles

Elina Svitolina secured her 10th WTA title with a straight-sets victory in the Brisbane International final in Australia, while Nick Kyrgios moved a step closer to claiming his first ATP title on home soil with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 semifinal win over defending champion Grigor Dimitrov. Third-seeded Svitolina beat qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-2, 6-1. Third-seeded Kyrgios will face American Ryan Harrison in Sunday’s championship match. Harrison took a 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Alex De Minaur . . . Top-ranked Simona Halep beat defending champion Katerina Siniakova, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0, in the final of the Shenzhen Open in China. Halep broke her opponent three times in the final set to seal the win . . . Gilles Simon won his first major ATP Tour title since 2015 by defeating second-seeded Kevin Anderson, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, in the final of the Maharashtra Open in Pune, India . . . Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic won the deciding Fast4 mixed doubles, 4-3 (3), 4-2, over Germany to give Switzerland its third Hopman Cup title. Federer also took a 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 6-2 win over Alexander Zrevev in the event in Perth, Australia.



Blue Jays get infielder Solarte

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired infielder Yangervis Solarte from the San Diego Padres for two minor leaguers. Solarte started at all four infield positions last season, hit a career-high 18 homers, and drove in 64 runs. San Diego received outfielder Edward Olivares and righthander Jared Carkuff . . . Philippe Coutinho is joining Barcelona after Liverpool agreed to sell the 25-year-old Brazilian playmaker in a deal that makes him one of the most expensive players in soccer history. A person familiar with the details told the Associated Press that the transfer is worth 160 million euros ($192 million). Barcelona said Coutinho will sign a contract for the rest of the ongoing season and five more seasons. Liverpool rejected three bids from Barcelona for Coutinho in August.


QB Finley returning to N.C. State

North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley said he'll return for his final season of eligibility instead of entering the NFL Draft. Finley, a graduate transfer from Boise State, and is fifth in school history with 6,577 yards passing in two seasons . . . Georgia Tech hired Nate Woody of Appalachian State at its defensive coordinator. Woody, 57, directed Appalachian State’s defense the past five seasons . . . Stoke fired manager Mark Hughes after the relegation-threatened Premier League team was beaten, 2-1, by fourth-tier Coventry in the FA Cup third round. Hughes took over as manager in May 2013. Stoke is 18th in the Premier League with 20 points in 22 games.