Japan’s superstar, two-time Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu hopes he can ward off injury at this year’s Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, ensuring he will be healthy for a bid at a fifth Grand Prix Final crown.
«First of all I want to get through official practice (in Moscow) without any trouble,» said Hanyu, who last season suffered a serious ankle injury that caused him to miss his chance at a fifth consecutive Grand Prix final title. «I’ll take care to avoid a repeat of what happened last year.»
(Hanyu’s fall during practice for the 2017 NHK Trophy in Osaka led to a serious ankle injury)
Hanyu blew away the field to win on his Grand Prix season debut in Helsinki earlier this month, his victory coming after he had kicked off his campaign by taking the Autumn Classic International, an ISU Challenger Series event, in September.
«I have done what I have to do (to prepare for the Rostelecom Cup),» Hanyu told reporters after arriving in Moscow on Wednesday for the fifth event of the ISU Grand Prix Series. «I will try and skate with care.»
(Hanyu arrives in Moscow for the Rostelecom Cup)
In Helsinki, Hanyu scored 106.69 points in the short program and 190.43 in the free skate for a 297.12 total. Both of his scores were world-best this season.
«After the (previous Autumn Classic) event I was not in such good shape but I have really been able to rediscover my form,» said Hanyu.
The 23-year-old from Sendai only needs to finish inside the top three in Moscow to get a crack at another Grand Prix Final title at the event being held in Vancouver from Dec. 6-8.
(Hanyu shows off his winner’s medal at the Helsinki Grand Prix)
The injury Hanyu sustained at the NHK Trophy last November threatened to derail his bid to defend his Olympic title at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
But with the odds seemingly stacked against him, Japan’s skate king triumphed in February in South Korea to become the first male figure skater to win consecutive Olympic crowns since American Dick Button did so in 1948 and 1952.
(Hanyu wins the gold medal for the second consecutive Winter Olympics)
All — Kyodo News+