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Figure skating: Uno sharp ahead of bid for 1st Grand Prix Final win

Japan’s Shoma Uno looked sharp in practice Tuesday as he warmed up in the suburbs of Vancouver ahead of the elite Grand Prix Final.

Looking to win his first gold medal at the event in the injury-enforced absence of compatriot and Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, Uno arrived in Canada on Nov. 29 to give himself ample time to adjust to the 17-hour time difference.

The Pyeongchang Olympic silver medalist nailed all his quadruple jumps, while three Japanese skaters in the women’s competition — Rika Kihira, Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto — also tuned up for the Final starting on Thursday.

(Shoma Uno)

Uno, 20, won both of his Grand Prix competitions this season, at Skate Canada and the NHK Trophy. American quad king Nathan Chen, the defending Grand Prix Final champion, is expected to provide the main threat to Uno.

Two-time men’s Olympic champion Hanyu will again miss the Final due to an ankle injury.

Hanyu twisted his right ankle in practice at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Nov. 17.

Kihira, who won the NHK Trophy on her Grand Prix debut last month and followed up with victory at the Internationaux de France, successfully landed 14 out of 17 triple axels during the practice session.

(Rika Kihira)

«I’m in reasonable shape,» said the 16-year-old. «I will get better if my body moves well.»

Miyahara will be making her fourth straight appearance at the Final, while Sakamoto, like Kihira, is making her debut at the event.

(Kaori Sakamoto)

(Satoko Miyahara)

All — Kyodo News+

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