OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu made a successful return from an ankle injury that sidelined him after the Pyeongchang Games by winning the Autumn Classic International on Saturday.
The right ankle problem forced Hanyu to miss several events last season, but he battled through it to become the first man since Dick Button in 1952 to win consecutive Olympic titles. In this Challenger Series competition, he had 263.65 total points, though he didn’t skate clean programs.
Hanyu, who had a healthy lead after Friday’s short program, nailed his first two quads but fell on a quad salchow late in his program to “Origin” and also had a quad toeloop downgraded to a double.
“It really stings,” Hanyu said of his mistakes on his jumps.
“I was just about able to win on points but I was in no way able to perform my program as well as I wanted to. From my heart I really want to become stronger.”
Chan Junhwan of South Korea took silver with 259.78 points. Canadian Roman Sadovsky earned bronze.
Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje won the ice dance with a new program on Saturday.
The world bronze medalists unveiled an emotional free dance to a piece from the rock opera “Starmania.” It was also a tribute to 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who skated to the same music last season. Ten was killed in July at age 25.
“It felt good to get out there and really perform this program,” said Poje. “It’s been special for us since the beginning. We just wanted to go out, take it easy and feel the environment.”
Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain finished second with 171.41 points, while Canadian pair Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus were third with 166.24.
Late Friday night, U.S. champion Bradie Tennell stunned Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva in the women’s event. It was Tennell’s first international senior level title.