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Olympic champ Hanyu shines in Grand Prix return

Competing in an elite competition for the first time since winning his second straight Olympic gold medal in February, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu won Saturday’s men’s short program at the Helsinki meet in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

With a near flawless routine, Hanyu scored a season-best 106.69 points, surpassing compatriot Shoma Uno’s 104.15 at September’s Lombardia Trophy.

Michal Brezina of Czech Republic was second with 93.31, while China’s Jin Boyang was third. Japan’s Keiji Tanaka was seventh in the 11-man field ahead of Sunday’s free skate.

Hanyu, who skipped this year’s worlds after becoming the first men’s skater in 66 years to win two consecutive Olympic golds, had returned to competition by winning September’s Autumn Classic International, an ISU Challenger Series event.

The men’s short program was the first event on Saturday’s calendar, to be followed by the pairs and women’s free skate and the free dance.

All — Kyodo News+

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