Two-time reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu settled for second in the men’s short program on Thursday, as Japan finished the first day of the World Team Trophy figure skating meet in third place behind front-runner Russia and the United States.
The three-day competition, which features six nations at Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka, opened with the rhythm dance, followed by the women’s and men’s short programs, where Hanyu finished behind American Nathan Chen, the three-time defending world champion, 109.65 to 107.12.
“I did what I was capable of,” Hanyu said. “My ranking doesn’t concern me, but I was able to smoothly execute my quad salchow and quad toe loop for the first time in competition. That makes me think I’m getting better.”
Shoma Uno, fourth at last month’s worlds, was ninth in the 12-man field after flubbing the landings on his opening quad flip and falling on a quad toe loop.
Russia finished the first night atop the standings with 49 points after finishing first in the rhythm dance and taking the top two spots in the women’s short program.
Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva finished first and second in the women’s skate, with Kaori Sakamoto third. Rika Kihira finished fourth, despite needing medication for lower back pain.
The Japanese ice dancing couple of Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto were fifth in the opening rhythm dance, won by Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
The pairs short program, the free dance and the men’s free skate were scheduled for Friday.
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