HELSINKI – Yuzuru Hanyu leads comfortably after the men’s short program at the Helsinki Grand Prix after landing two clean quads.
The two-time defending Olympic champion was nearly flawless in the Saturday skate, aside from a wobble coming out of his quad toe-triple toe combination. He earned 106.69 points to open his first GP event of the season.
Hanyu will go into Sunday’s free skate with a commanding lead over second-place Michal Brezina, who received 93.31 points. The Czech also made no significant errors but was slightly less ambitious than Hanyu, putting his quad salchow-triple toe combination at the opening — compared to later on for Hanyu.
China’s Jin Boyang was in a distant third (85.97). Keiji Tanaka was seventh (80.60) in the 11-man field.
Despite dominating the field, Hanyu said “I need to train more.”
Brezina, who is bouncing back from a couple of disappointing seasons, said he’s been feeling more relaxed as he gets older.
“I’m not really thinking about skating as the main thing that stresses me out,” the 28-year-old said.