Japan’s double Olympic champion skates to record score

Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) skates during the short programme on Friday. © 2020 International Skating Union
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) skates during the short programme on Friday. © 2020 International Skating Union

Seoul, Korea, February 7, 2020: Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan soared to a confident lead in the men’s short programme at the International Skating Union Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Seoul on Friday.

Performing to “Ballade No.1” by Chopin, Hanyu set a record score of 111.82 points.

“I think I skated with elegance today and today’s performance was the most perfect performance I’ve ever done,” Hanyu said.

“Also, I tried to express my music deeply with my feeling and I could jump higher and with more perfection. Actually, I set as a goal a score higher than 110 for myself. I grew confident during the performance because I felt so good while I skated.”

China’s Jin Boyang (95.83) came second followed by Jason Brown of the USA (94.71) in what was a high-level competition.

The free skate will take place on Sunday.

In other news from the Mokdong Ice Rink:

*Rika Kihira of Japan prevailed in what was a tough competition in the ladies’ free skating on Saturday to defend her title.

Kihira, 17, skated to “International Angel of Peace” and scored 151.16 points for a total of 232.34 points overall to seal victory.

Korea’s Winter Youth Olympic Games champion You Young moved up one spot to take the silver medal with a personal best of 149.68 for 223.23 and Bradie Tennell (USA) claimed the bronze with a season’s best 147.04 points for 222.97 points overall. 

*China’s two-time world champions Sui Wenjing/Han Cong skated to their sixth Four Continents title as the Pairs event wrapped up on Saturday.

Peng Cheng/Jin Yang made it one-two for China by taking the silver medal. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro of Canada dropped from first to third to earn the bronze medal.