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Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu’s bid for a third straight national title got off to a strong start on Friday night at Big Hat, where he took the lead after the short program at the All-Japan Championships with a score of 94.35 points.

Skating to Chopin’s “Ballade No. 1,” Hanyu opened with an exquisite quadruple toe loop, then hit a booming triple axel, before doubling the back end of his planned triple lutz/triple toe loop combination jump.

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