SAPPORO – China’s Jin Boyang leads the Asian Winter Games men’s figure skating competition after the short program on Friday, with Shoma Uno a close second.
Jin scored 92.86 points with Uno later taking to the Makomanai Ice Arena to record a 92.43-point skate despite making a number of mistakes on his jumps. China’s Yan Han is third 1.30 points behind his competition-leading countryman and Takahito Mura is fourth on 90.32.
Jin did not execute his opening quadruple lutz-triple toeloop combination to perfection, but followed it up with solid skating and nailed both his triple axel and quad toeloop.
“Jumps define me and I like them. Many skaters are taking quads on now and I’d like to challenge them, too,” Jin said. “I think I could display everything I’ve been hoping for, so it was a satisfactory performance.
“My dream is to win a medal at the Olympics and it will come my way if I keep working hard.”
Uno, meanwhile, started with a decent quad flip, but failed his combination involving a quad toeloop, and was content only with his triple axel.
“Nothing was holding me back, but the jumps I was failing in training came out as they were (in competition),” Uno said. “I didn’t have a good axis on my jumps at training today, which makes a slight difference. I have to up my success percentage for the axels, at least.
“Not putting in the performance that I’m capable of is the most disappointing thing. I couldn’t jump well apart from my axel.”
Uno played down the favorite tag here and vowed to give something different at the free skate on Sunday.
“I was telling myself to concentrate before the performance, but that already tells you I wasn’t concentrating,” he said.
“I don’t think I’m ahead of everyone, today’s result shows the gap is marginal. The one who succeeds wins and who fails loses, the one who can overcome the mental battle with himself will win it.”
Earlier in the day, the Chinese pair of Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu skated to ice dance gold with a combined total of 164.28 points, beating out Japan’s Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed (159.14) and China’s Chen Hong and Zhao Yan (142.42).
In the pairs, the Chinese team of Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao in in front after the short program with 77.90 points. Another Chinese duo, Peng Cheng and Jin Yang, is second on 67.24, ahead of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik of North Korea (65.22).