Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu retained the World title he had won in 2014 and set new record scores in the Free Skating. His teammate Shoma Uno secured with silver a second medal for Japan while Boyang Jin of China repeated as World bronze medalist. The three men set new personal best scores for themselves.
Hanyu, who stood in fifth place following the Short Program, put out a mesmerizing performance to “Hope and Legacy” by Jo Hisaishi, reeling off a quad loop, quad Salchow, quad Salchow-double toe, quad toe, triple Axel-double toe, triple Axel-single loop-triple Salchow as well as two more triples and level-four spins and footwork. At the end of his performance, Hanyu raised his arm in triumph while his fans covered the ice with toys and flowers. The reigning Olympic Champion earned 223.20 points, surpassing his previous record score of 219.48 points from the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2015/16. He racked up 321.59 points to top the podium. “After the short program I was quite depressed, but I think my fans and my team believe in me so I was able to pull off this performance today”, Hanyu commented. “I demonstrated everything I was capable of for the moment, my whole package so to say. I wanted to do five quads but did not have enough energy. Great to beat my own World Record with three points, I think I can get even higher scores. This whole season I have been thinking about breaking the World record, and felt some pressure because of that”, he added.
Uno’s Tango program featured a quad loop, quad flip, two quad toes and five clean triples, but he stumbled on a triple Lutz. The 2017 Four Continents bronze medalist achieved a personal best score with 214.45 points, cracking the 200-points barrier for the first time, and totaled 319.31 points to win his first World medal.“ Yuzuru’s performance was perfect and I made some minor mistakes, so there is some room to catch up. But this was one of the best I’ve ever done, so I’m quite happy about it. In the last World Championship I failed and I didn’t want it to happen again. Everything I’ve been going through since the 2016 Worlds brought me to this competition. The effort paid off and I’m happy to finish this season in a best way. I can’t ask for anything more”, the 19-year-old said.
Performing to “La Strada”, Jin put out a clean program that included a big quad Lutz, three more quads and six triples to score 204.94 points for the Free Skating and 303.58 points overall. “I got the bronze medal last year and the same result this year. I feel very satisfied with my performance here. I don’t think too much about the medals but I just want to focus on my program and make it perfect, and I did it today. Whether I get a medal or not I was quite happy”, the Chinese Champion noted.
Defending World Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP) produced two quads and two triple Axels, but fell on a quadruple Salchow and doubled two jumps to slip from first to fourth at 301.19 points. Three-time World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN) landed a quad toe-triple toe and quad Salchow, but stumbled on two other jumps and dropped from third to fifth (295.16 points). 2017 Four Continents Champion Nathan Chen (USA) attempted six quadruple jumps, but missed two to finish sixth in his World Championship debut (290.72 points).