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

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

That said, Hanyu had a special feeling for that particular stage, the Megasport Arena in Moscow.

"I feel at home here because the first time I competed in the Grand Prix series at the senior level was at this rink," Hanyu said. "I also had a training camp in Moscow before which I still have good memories of, so that should help me be calm for the competition."

These factors might be why Hanyu chose to take on a new challenge at this rink, by attempting a quadruple Lutz.

After the training in music, Hanyu tried quadruple jumps with Brian Orser's advice. When he failed, he rotated his hands in order to maintain his motivation, and then finely executed a quadruple toe loop after a spread eagle. After popping up some attempts, Hanyu elegantly performed the final quadruple Lutz in training, drawing an ovation from the fans.

"I think the reason why I popped many (quadruple) Lutzs was that it was after the training to music, that's how it goes," Hanyu said. "In the end, I recovered my energy and jumped the Lutz with a stable core. That was nice and I'm feeling good now."

While young skaters such as Chen were developing, Hanyu started aggressively for the PyeongChang Olympics season. Having decided to include a quadruple Lutz in his programme at the Rostelecom Cup, Hanyu was satisfied by its success and the fact he obtains a higher score than Chen in the free skate, even though he lost to him overall.