2021.04.12

Yuzuru Hanyu is a man of his word. challenges are his principle.

  • text by Toshimi Oriyama
  • photo by Sunao Noto(a presto)

The story of Yuzuru Hanyu
"Good rivals" #05

Yuzuru Hanyu at the Megasport Arena in Moscow 2017.Yuzuru Hanyu at the Megasport Arena in Moscow 2017. At the World Figure Skating Championships in 2017, Yuzuru Hanyu was very confident he could win the competition if he showed 100 per cent of his ability. Although his score in the short programme was 10.66 points lower than Javier Fernández's personal best of 109.05 points, Hanyu finely executed four quadruples of three kinds in the free skate to score 223.20 points, a world record. That produced a total of 321.59 points and meant that he won the tournament, preventing Fernández from claiming a third successive title.

Having successfully executed quadruples for the first time at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Shoma Uno neatly performed four quadruples of three kinds, and finished second, 2.28 points behind Hanyu. Nathan Chen also attempted a composition including six quadruples of four kinds, although he missed some of them. Hanyu's younger rivals were vigorously chasing him.

With the Rostelecom Cup, the first competition of the Grand Prix series, approaching in the 2017-18 season, Hanyu showed a new composition in the official training as if to declare his brand new challenge.

In the training to the song "Seimei", his first jump was a quadruple Lutz. Hanyu popped the jump and made it a single, then successfully executed a quadruple loop and a triple flip in the first part followed by three continuous jumps in the latter part. His quadruple toe loop was not stable on landing, but his continuous jumps and a triple Axel were solid.

"During my training, I thought the Lutz could be included at the beginning," Hanyu explained of the decision. "I will train more and more for the Olympics, but the number of competitions is limited so I want to try as much as possible on the ice because those attempts themselves can be important."