Hiroshima, Japan

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Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan skated to the gold medal at NHK Trophy with 22 points to spare on Saturday and qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Russia’s Sergei Voronov claimed the silver medal and Italian Matteo Rizzo took the bronze.

GP NHK Shoma Uno(JPN)2018©International Skating Union(ISU) 1060029224

Japan's Shoma Uno on his way to the gold medal 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Performing to “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven, Uno landed a quadruple flip and quadruple toeloop as well as two triple Axels. However, the two-time World silver medalist underrotated the quad Salchow and stumbled on the second quad toe and on a triple Salchow.

Despite those mishaps, the Japanese Champion scored 183.96 points to rack up 276.45 overall and take the title. “I am happy to have won the NHK Trophy and to have secured my ticket to the Grand Prix Final. However, there were mistakes in both the short and free program,” Uno said.

“The first half (of the Free Skating) I thought was going well, but the second quad toe and the (triple) Salchow were meant to be combinations (but) I didn’t do (them) and so I had only one combination and I regret that. But I didn’t lose it emotionally and was aggressive.”

GP Sergei Voronov(RUS)2018©International Skating Union(ISU) 1060028274

Sergei Voronov 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Voronov opened his program to “Way Down We Go” with a quad toe and followed up with five clean triples including two Axels. The 31-year-old skater earned 162.91 points to retain his second place from Friday with 254.28 overall. With a bronze and now a silver medal from his two Grand Prix events so far this season, he will have to wait and see if this will be enough to get him into the Final.

“I am grateful that I got to skate last and again after Shoma Uno.” Voronov said. “It was hard today, when I went out I saw the ice covered in red [flags and towels in support of Uno], but I managed to do quite well skating last twice and twice after the host, so to say.”

Rizzo fell on his opening quadruple toeloop attempt in his Rolling Stones program, but recovered to hit six triples. However, he also underrotated the second triple Axel. The Italian Champion nevertheless picked up 147.71 points and with a total of 224.71 pulled up one spot to earn the first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal for an Italian man.

GP NHK Matteo Rizzo(ITA)2018©International Skating Union(ISU) 1060030756

Matteo Rizzo made skating history for Italy 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

“Of course this is very important for me and for my future. I wasn’t expecting that at the beginning of the season.” the 20-year-old said. “I was just happy to have (been assigned to) two Grands Prix, and at Skate America me and my team were very happy with fourth place already. The result is amazing, but I am not happy with my performance, because I can do better than that.”

The 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA) came fourth on 223.42 points, while Russia's Dmitri Aliev dropped from third after day 1 to fifth after popping some jumps. Sota Yamamoto (JPN) finished in sixth place with 213.40 points.

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GP NHK Sergei Voronov(RUS) Shoma Uno(JPN) Matteo Rizzo(ITA)2018©International Skating Union(ISU) 1059820928

Sergei Voronov (RUS), Shoma Uno (JPN) and Matteo Rizzo (ITA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)