• Reuters


Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno recovered from a shaky start to win the men’s free skate final at the Japan Open, as the 23-year-old ramps up his preparation ahead of the 2022 Winters Games in Beijing.

Shoma, who won silver at the Pyeongchang Olympics, fell on his first quad attempt but landed the other three quad jumps to earn 181.21 points, finishing ahead of Shun Sato’s 179.32 on Saturday.

The Japan Open, an annual international figure skating team competition, usually features teams from Japan, Europe and North America but the event saw only Japanese skaters for a second successive year due to COVID-19 precautions.

The home skaters were divided into two teams and only performed their free skates, with Team Blue claiming victory over Team Red after Shoma won the men’s final and Wakaba Higuchi triumphed in the women’s final.

Neither Yuzuru Hanyu — who won gold at the 2018 Olympics — or world silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama both took part in the men’s event.

The Beijing Olympics are scheduled to open on Feb. 4, with only spectators from mainland China allowed to attend the event.

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