With a score of 113.97, Chen set the highest short program score in figure skating history.

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Four years ago in PyeongChang, Chen entered as one of the heavy favorites but fell during the short program in both the individual and team event

“I was elated,” Chen said

“Last Olympics, both short programs didn't go the way that I wanted and finally getting the opportunity to skate the programs the way that I wanted—it feels really good. It means a lot.

Chen's score broke the record of back-to-back Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who sits in eighth after failing to complete an early jump.

All that stands in the way of gold for Chen is Thursday's free skate, a portion of the event in which he posted the highest score at the 2018 Games.

The 22-year-old scored a world record 113.97 in the short program Tuesday at the Beijing Winter Games, in a performance that included a quad flip, a triple axel and a quad lutz-triple toeloop combo.

Japan's Yuma Kagiyama was in second place behind Chen on Tuesday, and fellow Japanese skater Shoma Uno came in third.