Yuzuru Hanyu left his fans in tears again with the highest-scoring short program in the world this season, taking a whopping lead at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday.
The double Olympic champion landed a quadruple Salchow, triple Axel and a quad toe loop-triple toe combination en route to 110.53 points. Hanyu previously had the world’s top short score of 106.69 from his Grand Prix season debut two weeks ago.
He leads Georgian Morisi Kvitelashvili by 20.59 going into Saturday’s free skate.
“I’m relieved,” Hanyu said, according to Kyodo News. “I’m still in my preparation mode in the sense that there were a number of issues I’ve been trying to iron out, and so I had some real anxieties coming in. So in that sense, being able to accomplish this is a relief.”
The pre-event favorites to join Hanyu on the podium were Canadian Keegan Messing and Russian Mikhail Kolyada, but both erred on all three of their jumping passes and sit seventh and eighth, respectively.
Hanyu’s real rivals are American Nathan Chen and Japanese Shoma Uno, whom he last faced at the Olympics. They are expected to meet in competition for the first time this season at December’s Grand Prix Final.
Rostelecom Cup continues later Friday with the rhythm dance and pairs’ and women’s short programs, streaming live on NBC Sports Gold.
As a reminder, you can watch the ISU Grand Prix Series live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. GO HERE to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season…NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.
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