Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “Otonal” by Raul di Blasio, Hanyu put down an excellent performance, reeling off a quadruple Salchow, effortless triple Axel, quad toe-triple toe combination as well as level-four spins. The crowd rose as one to celebrate the two-time Olympic Champion with a standing ovation.
Yet despite scoring 106.69 points, the two-time World Champion was not especially pleased with himself.
“I need to train more and more. I can improve the jump landings and on the entry, I was not confident to do the jumps. Today’s performance in the short program was a bit challenging. I landed (the jumps), but I can’t say that it was perfect,” Hanyu said.
Michal Brezina (CZE) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Brezina’s program to Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever” featured a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip, triple Axel and earned him a level four for his spins and footwork. The Skate America silver medalist picked up 93.31 points.
“Some people are saying that I’m like wine – the older, the better. But I don’t feel like wine,” the 28-year-old joked. “I just want to go out in the free skating and do my job.”
Boyang Jin (CHN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Jin fell on the back end of his opening quadruple Lutz-triple toeloop combination in his routine to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but he recovered to land a quadruple toeloop and triple Axel. The two-time World bronze medalist earned 85.97 points.
“I have some regrets about my short program. I missed my first jump (combination), but I am quite happy about my second jump (the quadruple toeloop),” the 21-year-old said.
Junhwan Cha (KOR) remains close to the podium in fourth place on 82.82 points. Andrei Lazukin (RUS) follows in fifth with 82.54 points and 2018 World bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), who singled the Lutz and had no combination, came sixth (81.76 points).