Two-time Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan rocked the Men’s Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm (SWE) on Thursday for a six-point lead. Rookie Yuma Kagiyama of Japan burst onto the World stage coming second while two-time World Champion Nathan Chen (USA) had to settle for third place on the first day of the Men’s event.
Performing to “Let Me Entertain You” by Robbie Williams, Hanyu exactly did that, hitting a quad Salchow, a quad toe-triple toe and triple Axel. The two-time World Champion picked up a level four for his spins and a level three for his smooth step sequence to score 106.98 points.
The two-time Olympic Champion earned a score of 106.98 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
“Mentally I’m much more confident and I think that I can work on my program step by step. I hope that I touched everyone with my program and left an impression everyone will keep in their hearts”, Hanyu shared. “Of course it somehow felt lonely (skating without an audience). But because of times like this I hope that everyone in front of the TV or the internet really enjoyed it.”
Kagiyama produced a quad Salchow-triple toe, quad toe, triple Axel and fast-paced steps. The 2020 Youth Olympic Games Champion posted a new personal best with 100.96 points.
Yuma Kagiyama’s (JPN) confident skate secured him second place behind his compatriot ©International Skating Union (ISU)
“During practice I had a hard time adjusting my jumps, but during the competition I tried not to think about it. I just put everything I had into this program”, the 17-year-old said. “Of course I felt a little bit nervous, but I think I improved on being mentally strong during a competition. I got 100 points and I’m very proud of that.”
Chen fell on his opening quad Lutz in his Spanish-themed routine to “Desperado”, but recovered to land a triple Axel and a quad flip-triple toe combination for a score of 98.85 points. “I made a big mistake right off the bat, which is, I wouldn't say unconventional, but something that doesn’t normally happen to me”, the two-time World Champion noted. “So I had to figure out how to regroup right after that, and that was not an ideal way to start off that program. But mistakes happen, and I'm glad I had, again, this opportunity to sort of learn from it and move forward.”
Nathan Chen (USA) had to settle for third with a score of 98.85 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
2018 World bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (FSR) came fourth with a strong performance that included a somewhat shaky quad toe-triple toe combination (93.52 points). Keegan Messing (CAN) is just 0.01 points behind in fifth with an excellent program (93.51 points). Shoma Uno (JPN) landed a quad flip and quad toe-triple toe combination, but missed his triple Axel to come sixth (92.62 points). Jason Brown (USA) and Junhwan Cha (KOR) remain close to the podium in seventh and eighth on 91.25 and 91.15 points respectively.
Mikhail Kolyada (FSR) heads the rest of the field in fourth place ahead of the Free Program ©International Skating Union (ISU)
For more information, full entry lists and results please see the ISU website and the official event website. Follow the discussion on social media using #WorldFigure and #FigureSkating.