Japan’s Shoma Uno finished runner-up behind American Nathan Chen in the men’s competition at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final for the second straight year on Friday.
The 20-year-old Uno, who placed second following Thursday’s short program, claimed 183.43 points in his free routine for a total score of 275.10 points at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
He was 7.32 points behind defending champion Chen, who had a lead of 1.32 going into the free program. South Korea’s Cha Jun Hwan was a distant third in the six-man field.
«Compared to the short program, I guess (the free skate) was a little bit better, but I wish I had a better performance,» said Uno, whose short routine included an under-rotated quad flip.
«I felt back to normal before my free program and during my morning practice. So I was able to go into the free program without anxiety.»
«Obviously I have many things I have to work on, but I guess the biggest thing for me is to be able to perform a good program during competition.»
Uno narrowly missed out on the gold medal at last year’s tournament in Nagoya, where he finished just half a point behind Chen. He also came in second behind the American at the world championships in March.
Uno was the only Japanese competing in the men’s event after two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu missed it for the second straight year due to a right ankle injury. Hanyu claimed four consecutive titles between the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 seasons.
In the women’s competition on Saturday, 16-year-old Rika Kihira will aim to become the first Japanese since Mao Asada in 2005 to win the event in her Grand Prix debut season.
She leads the field after Thursday’s short program, where she posted the highest women’s score in the world since the judging system was revised ahead of the season. Pyeongchang Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia trails Kihira in second.
Kihira nailed nine of her 10 triple axel attempts during official training at the venue on Friday.
«My body moved just fine, but I’m exhausted. I couldn’t sleep so much (last night),» she said.
Japan’s Pyeongchang Olympians Kaori Sakamoto and Satoko Miyahara are sitting in fourth and sixth, respectively.
(Shoma Uno, Nathan Chen and Cha Jun Hwan)[ISU/Getty/Kyodo]
All — Kyodo News+