Record-breaking American teen Ilia Malinin lands quadruple axel as he wins first ever World Figure Skating title

Record-breaking American teen Ilia Malinin lands quadruple axel as he wins first ever World Figure Skating title
  • PublishedMarch 25, 2024

For every other figure-skater, landing a quadruple axel lies outside the realms of possibilities, attempted but never accomplished by an endless parade of skating greats.

For American teenage prodigy Ilia Malinin though, they are simply part of his routine. And landing one on Saturday propelled him to his first ever world title after a record-breaking performance in the free skate at the World Figure Skating Championship.

The 19-year-old – who is nicknamed the ‘quad god’ – was sitting in third place after the short program on Thursday, telling reporters afterwards that he was suffering with physical and mental challenges in the build-up to these world championships.

Then, on Saturday, he was drawn last to compete in the free skate and produced a dazzling performance to score 227.79, the highest ever score in this competition, before collapsing onto the ice with emotion.

“It means so much to me,” Malinin said afterwards, according to the International Skating Union. “The last few weeks were such a mental and physical challenge to go through.

“I was even debating whether I should come here or not. It was the last minute, but I wanted to come here to see what I can put out on the ice. I am so glad to be here on top right now.”

Ilia Malinin won his first world title.

Ilia Malinin won his first world title. Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Skating to music from the TV series “Succession,” Malinin opened his free skate with a quadruple axel, before landing five more quad jumps in front of crowd stunned in disbelief.

He is still the only man to land the quadruple axel.

He won by a staggering 24 points, ahead of Japan’s Kagiyama Yuma in second place and France’s Adam Siao Him Fa in third, who rose from 19th place after the short program.

“There was a little voice in my head: ‘No matter what, you have to keep fighting, keep going, no matter how bad you feel you just have to know that you’re capable of,’” Malinin added, per the Olympics.

His gold medal was the US’s second at this World Championships after Madison Chock and Evan Bates won the ice dance earlier on Saturday.


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