Figure Skating

Uno accomplishes first confirmed quad flip at Team Challenge Cup; Team Asia takes lead

AP, Kyodo

Shoma Uno completed the first ratified quad flip and posted a huge personal best at the Team Challenge Cup on Friday.

Uno, the 2015 world junior champion, had the top score with a 105.74, a personal best by almost 13 points, as he hit his historic opening quad flip and a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination.

“I feel like it was 50-50 so I’m really surprised,” the 18-year old for Team Asia said. “I’m really lucky tonight that I made it.”

He added: “I’m extremely happy to have done something nobody else has. I think it was a fluke. I want to raise the bar in practice so this becomes the norm for me.”

Uno and Denis Ten, who skated after missing warmups with a broken skate, sparked Team Asia to the short program championship.

The competition featured three men and three women representing Asia, Europe and North American. All scores counted toward the team score, but skating in groups of three they received 12, 10 and 8 points for their group placing.

Team Asia finished with 64 points as China’s Jin Boyang, bronze medalist at the recently completed world championships, topped his group with the second-best score of 93.18.

Led by American Ashley Wagner, North America was second with 62 points. Team Europe finished with 54 points.

Uno, who finished seventh at the world championships in March, displayed his satisfaction at the end, pumping his right arm in the air.

“I recognized I’m also capable of performing better than in practice (like other skaters). My feel for the jump was better than on (lower difficulty level) loop and Salchow,” said Uno, who’d struggled with the jump in practice after arriving here.

“I went into this feeling like it was a gamble.”

Ten, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist from Kazakhstan, scored a 92.53, after using the warmup time to tape his left skate before going out and nailing his routine.

“Throughout the performance, I just tried to be focused,” Ten said. “This is my last event this year and I was afraid I couldn’t perform the short program well.”

Wagner scored 74.54 points, second among women behind 2016 world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia, who had a personal best of 77.56. Satoko Miyahara and Rika Hongo scored 73.28 and 60.43 points, respectively.