• Kyodo

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Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu made a dominant start at the All-Japan Championships on Friday after topping the men’s short program, but with Shoma Uno keeping tight with a career-high score.

Hanyu, who set a record total of 330.43 points at the Grand Prix Finals in Barcelona, Spain, on Dec. 13, tipped over his opening quad salchow but regrouped to land a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination to go on to score 102.63 at Makomanai Ice Arena./p>

“Being honest I’m really frustrated, but was rated highly with the score,” said Hanyu, bidding for a fourth straight title. “It feels as if I’m being told I can do better. I’ll shed light on things that need reflection.”

“I don’t feel fatigue,” he added. “In this string of games I was aiming to perform without mistakes under any circumstance, and that’s something I couldn’t achieve today.”

The 21-year-old fell short of his short program-record 110.95 points he received in Barcelona, and although he remains the only skater to top the 100-point benchmark, 18-year-old Uno has left himself in contention ahead of the free skate on Saturday by scoring 97.94.

“It wasn’t the same as in the training but I feel I put in a decent performance,” said Uno, skating on the senior circuit for the first time this season. “It hasn’t reached the level where I can pump my fist, but I could execute all my jumps and I can give pass marks for that.”

Uno, third in the Grand Prix Finals and last year’s runner-up at the nationals, landed all his three jumps, including a quad toeloop.

“I’m relieved as I had lots of mistakes in the short skate,” said Uno. “I got a score way higher than expected, but there were things I could have done more and I don’t feel I’ve given everything.”

Takahito Mura, 24, nailed his quad-triple toeloop combination and placed third with a personal-record 93.26 points.

Places for the world championships are up for grabs in Sapporo, and the Japan Skating Federation will pick three women and two men for the upcoming tournament in Boston starting in late March.

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