Japan’s Shoma Uno finished second in the men’s short program on Thursday, while American Nathan Chen started off the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in the lead.
Uno scored 91.67 points for his short program routine at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, while Chen, last year’s Grand Prix winner and reigning world champion, opened with 92.99 to lead the six-man field.
«I was in worse shape than I’ve been in before. I think I did a decent job wrapping it up, but I couldn’t show what I’ve been doing in training in Japan,» Uno said. «I need to shift my attention and do a better job in the free skate.»
The 20-year-old, the only male Japanese skater in the competition after compatriot Yuzuru Hanyu decided to sit out due to a right ankle injury, under-rotated his opening quadruple jump but recovered with a triple axel to stay in contention.
Czech Michal Brezina placed third with 89.21, narrowly ahead of South Korean’s Cha Jun Hwan in fourth.
In Friday’s free skate at the series-finale in Vancouver, Uno will attempt to avoid ending runner-up to Chen for the second straight year. He finished just 0.50 points behind the American at last year’s final in Nagoya.
«I don’t want to finish disappointed this year,» said Uno, the silver medalist at February’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Two-time Olympic champion Hanyu, who won the Grand Prix Final four consecutive times between the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 seasons, sat out the concluding event for the second straight year.
Uno, Hanyu and Chen topped the men’s events on this season’s Grand Prix circuit, with each winning both events they entered during the six-leg series.
All — Kyodo News+