For a second straight night, two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu finished second-best to three-time reigning men’s world champion Nathan Chen of the United States on Friday at the World Team Trophy six-nation figure skating meet.
By topping Hanyu in Friday’s free skate with a score of 203.24 points to 193.76 at Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka, Chen earned the United States 12 points, while Hanyu secured 11 for Japan. After the second day with the women’s and pairs free skates set for Saturday’s finale, Russia leads with 91 points, with the U.S. second on 83 and Japan third with 78.
Hanyu may not have been the best on the ice, but with the Beijing Olympics looming, he seemed fixed on the future and the skating world’s most difficult jump.
“From start to finish, I felt I could skate my program in perfect harmony with my music,” Hanyu said. “So in one sense, I’m satisfied. This was the first time in a while I felt I was able to execute my jumps the way I wanted.
“Armed with this knowledge, this experience, I want to take aim at the quad axel for next season.”
Japan’s Shoma Uno was sixth in the men’s free skate after his error-strewn short program on Thursday.
Russia rolled to victory in the free dance as world champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov scored 130.15. Japan’s couple, Misato Komatsubara and Tim Kolet, posted a career-best 100.82 in the free dance to finish fifth.
Japanese pair skaters Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara also posted a personal best in Friday’s short program with 65.82 to finish third, just shy of the 66.09 posted by Italy’s Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise. The world champion Russian pair Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov won with 73.77.
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