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‘Desperado’ Nathan Chen leads after Skate America short program

Nathan Chen was his typically superb self in his first competition program in nine months, topping the Skate America short by 11.81 points in Las Vegas on Friday night.

Chen, undefeated since placing fifth at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, tallied 111.17 points on the strength of two quadruple jumps. His program is to a Latin piece, including music from “Desperado.”

Vincent Zhou, an Olympic teammate and 2019 World bronze medalist, was second, followed by Canadian Keegan Messing.

Chen goes for a record-tying fourth consecutive Skate America title in Saturday’s free skate.