Sapporo, Japan

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Double Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan topped the Men’s Short Program at the NHK Trophy in Sapporo on Friday and leads France’s Kevin Aymoz by almost 18 points.

Sergei Voronov of Russia is currently sitting in third place.

Hanyu once more dazzled in the Short Program, hitting a quadruple Salchow, a triple Axel and quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination in his expressive routine to 'Otonal' by Raul di Blasio. The two-time World Champion picked up a level four for his spins and footwork to score 109.34 points for a confident lead.

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Yuzuru Hanyu hit a quadruple Salchow, a triple Axel and quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination in his expressive routine © International Skating Union

“For today, for myself I was able to get a passing grade. It wasn't my best performance, but at least I can use today's performance as a baseline to continue training hard and to make sure that I can put out an even better short program in the next competition,” Hanyu said.

"Tomorrow I have a different program so I want to have a different level of concentration, and more than anything else it is important to me to stay on top form and skate strongly until the very end.

“I was really trying to feel the music, no matter how nervous I am, I can always tell myself that the music itself will never change. I tried very hard to put my emotions into the music and have a very positive image about my skating,” he continued.

Aymoz stepped out of his opening quadruple toeloop but recovered to land a triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and showed off in the step sequence in his program to 'The Question of U' by Prince. The Internationaux de France bronze medalist earned 91.47 points.

“I'm really glad to be in Japan for this competition and tonight I had a lot of fun skating my short program, even with the mistakes. It was really cool to skate. For tomorrow I just want to do my best and do a clean program,” Aymoz commented.

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Kevin Aymoz, in second place, is aiming for a clean program in Saturday's Free Skating © International Skating Union

Voronov’s program to 'Somebody to Love' by Queen was highlighted by a quadruple-triple toeloop combination, triple Lutz and a triple Axel. The ISU Grand Prix Finalist achieved a season’s best with 88.63 points.

"The day is over and for me it ended in a positive way. I am satisfied with my performance. Tomorrow will be a new day, new thoughts, new emotion,” Voronov noted.

“Overall I really enjoy coming to this competition, the NHK Trophy, because if I continue to compete I'll get to see almost all Japan,” he added.

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Sergei Voronov posted a season's best with his 'Somebody to Love' Short Program © International Skating Union

Roman Sadovsky (CAN) finished fourth on 78.51 points edging Rostelecom Cup bronze medalist Makar Ignatov (RUS), who scored 78.47 points. Koshiro Shimada (JPN) came sixth (75.98 points). Skate America silver medalist Jason Brown (USA) ranks eighth after missing two jumps and most likely lost his chance to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (73.73 points).

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Men.

NHK Trophy continues Saturday with the Free Dance, Pairs, Ladies and Men’s Free Skating.


Overall, 58 skaters/couples representing 11 ISU members compete at NHK Trophy November 22-24. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Turin (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on

Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?

Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.

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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20

Skate America - Las Vegas (USA) – October 18 – 20

Skate Canada International – Kelowna (CAN) – October 25 – 27

Internationaux de France – Grenoble (FRA) – Novembre 1 – 3

SHISEIDO cup of China – Chongqing (CHN) – November 8 – 10

Rostelecom Cup – Moscow (RUS) – November 15 – 17

NHK Trophy – Sapporo (JPN) – November 22 – 24

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Senior & Junior) – Torino (ITA) – December 5 – 8