World champ Chen leads US squad to Japan for World Team event


Los Angeles (AFP)

Two-time reigning world champion Nathan Chen will lead a United States squad into next month's ISU World Team Trophy event in Japan.

The American lineup announced Thursday night by US Figure Skating also included fellow 2018 Olympians Vincent Zhou and ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who took bronze in their respective events at this month's World Championships in Saitama, Japan.

Teams from the USA, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and Russia will compete April 11-14 at Fukuoka. Each squad features two men, two women, one pairs duo and one ice dance pairing with points combined across the four disciplines to decide a champion.

Japan is defending champion and has won the event twice with the Americans collecting the other three titles since the event's inception in 2009. All previous World Team Trophy competitions have been staged in Tokyo.

Chen, 19, defended his crown last week with world record free skate and total score points, taking his 11th triumph in 12 competitions over the past two years.

Chen was part of the bronze-medal US squads at last year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the 2017 World Team Trophy.

Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell, who had top-10 women's showings at worlds, and reigning US pairs champions Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc complete the American lineup.