Tags: yuzuru hanyu | short program | olympic | figure skating

Yuzuru Hanyu Short Program an Olympic Figure Skating Record

Yuzuru Hanyu Short Program an Olympic Figure Skating Record
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan performs during the men's short program figure skating on Friday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

By    |   Friday, 16 February 2018 08:51 AM

Yuzuru Hanyu's short program set an Olympic figure skating record on Friday, establishing the defending champion from Japan as the frontrunner going into Saturday's free skate. American men, meanwhile, already seem out of medal chances. 

Hanyu, 23, scored 111.68 points, giving him a chance to successfully repeat as Olympic champion, the first person to win consecutive figure skating gold medals since American Dick button did it in 1952 at the Oslo Winter Olympics, the Japan Times reported.

Hanyu won the audience over while performing to Chopin's "Ballade No. 1" and completing a quad salchow, triple axel, and then topping it off with a quad toe loop/triple toe loop combination jump, the Times said.

Spain's Javier Fernandez, 26, a two-time world champion, is currently in second place with 107.58 points after skating to the music "Modern Times." Japan's Shoma Uno, 20, skating in his first Olympics, is in third place with 104.17, skating to the music "Winter," the Times noted.

Adam Rippon was the highest-scoring American skater in the short program, well back at seventh (87.95), without even attempting a quad job which is crucial in free skate, while Vincent Zhou was 12th (84.53) and highly-touted Nathan Chen fell to 17th place (82.27).

"I just felt happy to skate," Hanyu, appearing to remove doubts about his chances after suffering a right ankle injury three months ago, per the Japan Times. "I just felt satisfied with my every element. I am really happy because I was really feeling the music, too, and the ice.”

"… I wanted to say to everyone that I am back here. And I am really happy today. I just want to say thank you for cheering and I am back."

Hanyu is a fan of the animated character Winnie the Pooh, and fans showered the Gangneung Ice Arena rink with stuffed Pooh bears of various sizes after his record-setting performance, Deadspin.com reported.

Yahoo Sports said Hanyu used the Winnie the Pooh tissue cover box on his ice rink scoring board as good luck when he was younger and fans responded. Hanyu's good luck charm now has its own Twitter account.

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Yuzuru Hanyu's short program set an Olympic figure skating record on Friday, establishing the defending champion from Japan as the frontrunner going into Saturday's free skate. American men, meanwhile, already seem out of medal chances. 
yuzuru hanyu, short program, olympic, figure skating
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2018-51-16
Friday, 16 February 2018 08:51 AM
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