The Men’s event at the Olympic Winter Games looks wide open and the battle between the “quad kings” should be fierce. All top contenders have multiple quadruple jumps planned and they will need them to get on to the podium in PyeongChang. On the other hand, the increase in technical difficulty has led to less consistency in the performances so that anything could happen on the ice in Korea.
The accomplished veterans are up against the newcomers from this Olympic cycle. 2017 World silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) tops the seasons best list with 319.84 points, but he achieved that score at a Challenger Series competition early in the season in September. At the Grand Prix Final, Uno lost to ISU Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA), who has a seasons best of 293.79 points from the Grand Prix in Moscow in October. More recently, Boyang Jin (CHN) beat Uno at the ISU Four Continents Championships last month in Taipei to win the title and to set a seasons best of 300.95 points.
They all have to watch out for six-time European Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP) who is eager to win the first Olympic Figure Skating medal for his country and comes with a seasons best of 295.55 points to Korea.
Reigning Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) is the big unknown in this equation. Hanyu scored a seasons best of 290.77 points at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow in October, but then suffered an ankle injury in practice at NHK Trophy and has not competed since.
Three-time World Champion and 2014 Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan (CAN) should not be counted out, although he decided to cut down the number of quads in his routines, planning for two quadruple toes in the Free Skating and one in the Short Program.
Other contenders to watch include ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (OAR), ISU Grand Prix Finalist Adam Rippon (USA), European silver medalist Dmitri Aliev (OAR), Keiji Tanaka (JPN) and Misha Ge (UZB). 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) is back, but has been handicapped by a severe ankle injury sustained last August.
As the International Olympic Committee has suspended the Russian National Olympic Committee, individual Russian athletes will be competing as Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) in PyeongChang. A total of 30 Men representing 21 ISU Members will compete at the Olympic Winter Games and the best placed 24 competitors in the Short Program will qualify for the final Free Skating. Malaysia will be represented for the first time at Olympic Winter Games with Julian Zhi Jie Yee.