Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu followed his outstanding short program by top-scoring in the free skate to take gold Saturday at the Rostelecom Cup, the fifth event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
The 23-year-old Japanese showed no ill effects from a fall during practice earlier in the day as he landed three quad jumps on his way to 167.89 points in the free skate.
Hanyu’s combined score of 278.42 was 29.84 points ahead of silver medalist Morisi Kvitelashvili of Georgia, who posted the second-best scores in both the short and free skates at the Megasport Sport Palace.
Japan’s Kazuki Tomono, competing in his first season on the world tour, took bronze with a total of 238.73. The 20-year-old was fourth after the short program, but moved up a place by posting the third-best free skate score of 156.47.
Always his own biggest critic, Hanyu expressed disappointment in his free skate routine, whose only blemish was a fall on the penultimate jump, a triple axel.
«I gave a miserable performance in the free skate, so I feel very apologetic,» Hanyu said.
«I felt like I tried my best. It couldn’t be helped because of my weak ankle. I did what I could do.»
Hanyu came into the second day of competition with a massive 20.59-point lead after scoring 110.53 for his nearly flawless short program on Friday.
He cut short his practice session on Saturday after falling while attempting a quadruple loop. While the tumble stoked fears that the Pyeongchang and Sochi Olympic champion may have reinjured his right ankle, he appeared to move without limitation in the free skate.
Hanyu has won the Grand Prix Finals the past four years.
He also won the Grand Prix of Helsinki earlier this month, making this the first year that he has won two Grand Prix events going into the finals.
Figure skating: Hanyu falls during practice at Rostelecom Cup
Figure skating: Hanyu throws down gauntlet with riveting short program
All — Kyodo News+