SHANGHAI – Yuzuru Hanyu landed a quadruple jump and produced a career-best score to move into second place after the men’s short program at the Cup of China on Friday.
The 16-year-old Hanyu, who is aiming for his first victory in the Grand Prix series, collected 81.37 points to finish behind world bronze medalist Artur Gachinski of Russia with 81.64. American Jeremy Abbott is third with 79.32.
“I’m glad I could get a score over 80. I landed my quad and had a good performance,” Hanyu said. “But it was different from the program I wanted to do. I’m a little disappointed because I wanted to do a quad-triple leap.”
Nobunari Oda, who finished runnerup at last season’s Grand Prix Final, was in fourth with 77.65.
In the women’s competition, 16-year-old Kanako Murakami was downgraded for under-rotating a triple jump and finished fourth in the short program with 53.09.
“I was very nervous because my program is difficult. I’m glad I didn’t fall or pull out of any jumps. Now that the short program is over I can relax in the free skate,” Murakami said.
Italy’s Carolina Kostner topped the women’s field with 61.88, while American Mirai Nagasu was second with 60.96. Russian Adelina Sotnikova stands third with 53.74.
“I am not completely satisfied with what I did today,” Kostner said. “At Skate America I got really low levels on the spins, so I was concentrating a lot on the spins this week. I probably was more focused on the spins today than on the jumps, and I made a mistake on the loop.”
Russia’s Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov claimed the top spot in pairs, while compatriots Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev took a commanding lead in ice dance.
Kawaguchi and Smirnov, the 2010 world bronze medalists, were easily the class of the pairs competition with their bluesy “All Alone” number. Their athleticism has long been their strength, and it was no different Friday with a difficult, intricate lift.
Kawaguchi and Smirnov scored 64.45 points, more than 3½ points ahead of Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch (60.78 points).
Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao of China, the 2006 Olympic silver medalists, were third (60.57) after she doubled their side-by-side triple salchows.
Bobrova and Soloviev rhumbaed their way to the lead in the short dance despite a slight wobble leading into the step sequence. They scored 65.73 points, almost eight points ahead of world bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States.