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GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 12: Adam Rippon of the United States competes in the Figure Skating Team Event – Men's Single Free Skating on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Patrick Chan has Canada on the brink of a team figure skating gold medal after his first-place showing in the men’s free skate program.

The skater posted a score of 179.75 to lead all competitors, giving his team 10 more points toward the cumulative lead at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Canada now has three wins in six events in Pyeongchang, South Korea, finishing in the top three in each competition.

               

Team Competition Standings

1. Canada – 55

2. Olympic Athletes from Russia – 48

3. United States – 44

4. Italy – 42

5. Japan – 38

            

Men’s Free Skate

1. Patrick Chan (CAN) – 179.75

2. Mikhail Kolyada (OAR) – 173.57

3. Adam Rippon (USA) – 172.98

4. Matteo Rizzo (ITA) – 156.11

5. Keiji Tanaka (JPN) – 148.36

Chan didn’t have his best skate, but he excelled thanks to his program that featured a high degree of difficulty.

Lori Ewing of the Canadian Press described the performance:

The Canadian received 16.74 points for his quad toe loop, triple toe loop combination, the highest individual point total in the competition.

His program components score also blew away the field, with his pure skating skills and interpretation of the music going a long way.

Japan’s Shoma Uno took first in the short program, but his teammate Keiji Tanaka replaced him in the free skate. The United States did the same with Adam Rippon instead of Nathan Chen, leaving just three repeats of the competitors from Thursday’s action.

Rippon lived up to and arguably exceeded expectations in his performance:

However, the nearly flawless routine wasn’t enough to score higher than Chan or Mikhail Kolyada, who had a higher elements score with his triple lutz, single loop, triple salchow combination. Even with a fall, he was able to remain ahead of the American.

It all sets up what should be an exciting individual battle in the men’s field.

The ladies free skate and ice dancing competitions will decide the final standings in the team event.

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