Uno sharp ahead of bid for first GP Final victory

Kyodo

Shoma Uno looked sharp in practice Tuesday as he warmed up in the suburbs of Vancouver ahead of the elite Grand Prix Final.

Looking to win his first gold medal at the event, Uno arrived in Canada on Nov. 29 to give himself ample time to adjust to the 17-hour time difference.

The Pyeongchang Olympic silver medalist nailed all his quadruple jumps, while three Japanese skaters in the women’s competition — Rika Kihira, Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto — also tuned up for the event, which begins on Thursday.

Uno, 20, won both of his Grand Prix competitions this season, at Skate Canada and the NHK Trophy. American quad king Nathan Chen, the defending Grand Prix Final champion, is expected to be Uno’s main threat.

Two-time men’s Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will miss the Grand Prix Final for a second straight season due to an ankle injury.

Hanyu twisted his right ankle in practice at the Cup of Russia in Moscow on Nov. 17.

Kihira, who won the NHK Trophy in her Grand Prix debut last month and followed up with victory at the Internationaux de France, successfully landed 14 out of 17 triple axels during the practice session.

“I’m in reasonable shape,” said the 16-year-old. “I will get better if my body moves well.”

Miyahara will be making her fourth straight appearance at the Grand Prix Final, while Sakamoto, like Kihira, will be making her debut at the event.