Nathan Chen first, Vincent Zhou third in figure skating world championships

Defending champion Nathan Chen delivered a spectacular free skate to win the gold medal again at the figure skating world championships at Saitama, Japan, and Palo Alto’s Vincent Zhou was third on a big day for U.S. skating.

It was the first time since 1996 two U.S. men medaled at the worlds. For Chen, 19, it was the first time an American man captured consecutive world titles since Scott Hamilton won his fourth in a row in 1984.

“It feels amazing,” said Chen, who had 323.42 points.

Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, who last year became the first male figure skater to win consecutive Olympic golds since Dick Button in 1948 and 1952, was second (300.97 points). Zhou had a personal best in his free skate and totaled 281.16 points.

“I’m so proud of myself and the effort that I put into my performance and my jumps,” Zhou said. “This is the culmination of all of the hard work I’ve been doing.”

ELSEWHERE

Kraft apologizes

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is apologizing after being charged in a Florida massage parlor prostitution investigation.

“I am truly sorry,” Kraft said in a statement. “I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”

Kraft has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution.

• The Detroit Lions signed free agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who appeared in 14 games with seven starts for the Raiders in 2018.

NHL: Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists as visiting Calgary beat Vancouver 3-1 to extend its Pacific Division lead over the second-place Sharks to six points. … Anthony Manta scored 19 seconds into overtime as visiting Detroit won 3-2 over Vegas, which moved to five points behind the Sharks in the Pacific. … Kyle Connor had his first NHL hat trick and host Winnipeg clinched a playoff spot with a 5-0 victory over Nashville. … Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara each had a goal and an assist to help visiting Boston clinch a playoff berth with a 7-3 win over Florida. … St. Louis snapped the visiting Tampa Bay’s seven-game winning streak, 4-3.

In other games, visiting Pittsburgh topped Dallas 3-2, host Carolina beat Minnesota 5-1, Colorado won its fourth in a row, beating visiting Chicago 4-2, and host New Jersey won 2-1 over Arizona, which has lost four in a row.

Also, Montreal beat host Buffalo 7-4, the visiting New York Islanders topped Philadelphia 4-2, host Edmonton fell to Ottawa 4-3 in overtime and the New York Rangers snapped a five-game skid with a 2-1 overtime win in Toronto.

Baseball: Right-hander Justin Verlander and the Astros reportedly agreed on a $66 million, two-year extension through 2021.

• Reds All-Star second baseman Scooter Gennett will miss at least the first two months of the season because of a severe groin strain.

• Former A’s right-hander Jason Hammel, who won a World Series title with the Cubs in 2016, is retiring even though he had been told by the Rangers he had made the team.

• Rehabbing Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia will open the regular season on the 25-man roster so he can serve a five-game suspension assessed last season before being placed on the injured list.

• Among the five players the Mets cut from major league camp was former A’s outfielder Rajai Davis. … The Cubs sent outfielder Ian Happ to Triple-A Iowa.

Tennis: Serena Williams withdrew from the Miami Open, blaming a left knee injury and top-ranked Naomi Osaka lost in the third round to Hsieh Su-Wei 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

On the men’s side, Roger Federer defeated Radu Albot 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.

Golf: Paul Casey bogeyed the final hole for a 3-under-par 68 that cut his lead to one shot at 8-under 205 over world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67) after three rounds of the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla.

• Yu Liu shot a 7-under 65 to take the third-round lead by one stroke at 19-under 197 over Carlota Ciganda in the LPGA Tour’s Founders Cup in Phoenix.

• Nacho Elvira fired a 6-under 66 for a two-shot advantage at 12-under over David Lipsky after the third round of the European Tour’s Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Motor sports: Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the pole at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.

• Kyle Busch is 3-for-3 in this season’s Truck Series with a win at Martinsville for his 201st career NASCAR victory.

• Team Penske’s Will Power topped qualifying for Sunday’s inaugural IndyCar Classic in Austin, Texas.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Nathan-Chen-first-Vincent-Zhou-third-in-figure-13712055.php.

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