Ilia Malinin lands 1st quadruple Axel in figure skating history

At the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, the 17-year-old American becomes the first-ever to nail the jump in competition.

By Shintaro Kano
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Ilia Malinin became the first skater in history to land the quadruple Axel in competition on Thursday (15 September).

The 17-year-old junior world champion accomplished the feat during his free program at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he won the men's singles competition, his season opening event.

Malinin finished with 257.28 points.

So how foes it fell to land a quad Axel in competition?

"It felt really good," Malinin said according to U.S. Figure Skating. "When I am practising it, it's pretty easy for me to figure out how to get the right timing and everything to have it be a good attempt. To do it in competition is a different story because you have nerves and pressure that can get in the way of that. So I have to treat it like I am at home, and it feels pretty good."

Not even Olympic champion Nathan Chen has ever attempted to land the quad Axel in competition.

Widely regarded as the most difficult jump in figure skating, Malinin had previously executed the technique in practice.

The quad Axel was the talk of town at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games in February when then reigning two-time champion Hanyu Yuzuru unsuccessfully attempted it during his free skate.

Malinin missed the cut for Beijing despite winning a silver medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.

He won the world junior championships in April in a record 276.11.

READ More: Check out our exclusive interview with Malinin ahead of his debut at the senior world championships in March.

"It was not what I wanted, but still a pretty good start to the new season, especially since it's the first competition," Malinin said after the free skate in which he managed to land four quads. 

"It was just the start of the season, so I just have to work on it over time and hopefully by the end of the season it'll be a lot easier to skate programs."

Figure skating is part of his DNA as he is the son of two Olympic figure skaters: Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov.

He is considered a potential challenger of Chen, should the superstar decide to come back.

Malinin who did not make the U.S. Olympic team for the Beijing Games regularly posts videos of his practice jumps on an Instagram account called quadgod,

And he makes them look so easy. 

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