Two-time ISU World silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan grabbed the lead in the Men’s Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix NHK Trophy in Tokyo (JPN). Vincent Zhou (USA) sits in second and Korea’s Junhwan Cha placed third on the first day of competition.
Shoma Uno (JPN) © International Skating Union (ISU)
Uno put out an excellent performance to two Oboe Concertos by Marcello and Vivaldi that was highlighted by a quad flip, quad toe-double toe, triple Axel and level-four spins. The 2018 Olympic silver medalist picked up 102.58 points, a season's best.
“To be really honest, it’s not really about whether the performance was good or bad, but in my combination the (planned) triple (toe) became a double and I am very disappointed, because this season is still long, so now is not the time for me to try to play it safe," Uno said. "My first jump was a bit wobbly in the air. I wasn't really pushing myself enough."Performing to “Starry, Starry Night”, Zhou reeled off a quad Lutz-triple toe, quad Salchow and triple Axel, but the last two jumps were slightly underrotated (q). The Skate America Champion neverthless achieved a season's best with 99.51 points.
Vincent Zhou (USA) © International Skating Union (ISU)
“Actually, I felt a little bit shaky. My legs were a little bit nervous, and I think that was reflected in the quality of some of my spins and my triple Axel,” Zhou shared. “I definitely understand why I didn’t reach 100 points, but overall I’m pretty happy with my performance. I think it is a good point to move on to tomorrow.”
Cha landed a quad Salchow, triple Lutz-triple loop and triple Axel in his routine to “Fate of the Clockmaker” and “Cloak and Dagger”. The Korean Champion posted a season's best as well and got 95.92 points.
Junhwan Cha (KOR) © International Skating Union (ISU)
“I am happy with my performance. Last week I was at the Grand Prix in Italy, so this is my second one in a row. After arriving in Japan, I really had to find my condition and my rhythm again and I think worked hard and did my best for today,” Cha noted.