by George S. Rossano
(13 January 2022) One of the finest triple Axel photo sequences we have ever captured comes from Ilia Malinin at the 2022 U.S. National Championships Men's Free Skate. This execution is one of the most dynamically perfect examples of a triple Axel we have seen.
But first, and for comparison, here is Nathan Chen's triple Axel from the Short Program.
(Make sure you have the playback quality set to the highest value to see the best detail.)
Nice, isn't it, but not perfect.
This example is 0.76 seconds in the air vs. 0.68 seconds for the Chen example. Malinin gets fully pulled in faster than the Chen example, has a better and more consistent air position and rotates faster in this comparison. Peak rotation rate is about 1/3 faster.
It doesn't get much better than this.
Chen GoEs (SP): 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 3
Malinin GoEs (FS): 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4