Figure Skating

Yuzuru Hanyu looks to clinch Grand Prix Final spot at Cup of Russia

KYODO

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu hopes he can ward off injury at this year’s Cup of Russia in Moscow, ensuring he will be healthy for a bid at a fifth Grand Prix Final crown.

“First of all I want to get through official practice (in Moscow) without any trouble,” said Hanyu, who last season suffered a serious ankle injury that caused him to miss his chance at a fifth consecutive Grand Prix final title. “I’ll take care to avoid a repeat of what happened last year.”

Hanyu blew away the field to win on his Grand Prix season debut in Helsinki earlier this month, his victory coming after he had kicked off his campaign by taking the Autumn Classic International, a Challenger Series event, in September.

“I have done what I have to do (to prepare for the Cup of Russia),” Hanyu told reporters after arriving in Moscow on Wednesday. “I will try and skate with care.”

In Helsinki, Hanyu scored 106.69 points in the short program and 190.43 in the free skate for a 297.12 total. Both of his scores were world-bests this season.

“After the (previous Autumn Classic) event I was not in such good shape but I have really been able to rediscover my form,” Hanyu said.

The 23-year-old from Sendai only needs to finish inside the top three in Moscow to get a crack at another Grand Prix Final title at the event being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from Dec. 6-8.