EXCLUSIVE: Hanyu says he's not thinking of Beijing 2022

The reigning Olympic champion was not at his best on his winning reappearance at the Autumn Classic.

Yuzuru Hanyu claims narrow victory on return at Autumn Classic

Double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has revealed that he's not yet thinking of defending his title at Beijing 2022.

The Japanese skater shared exclusively with the Olympic Channel that he was more focused on staying healthy this season.

"I have been advised to make sure that I recover well and that I won’t worsen it. I would then try to work towards improving jumps including quadruples and other techniques." - Yuzuru Hanyu

The 23-year-old made a return from the ankle injury that sidelined him after Pyeongchang 2018 by winning the Skate Canada Autumn Classic in Oakville**.**

He described his time away from the ice as a dark period.

"It was very difficult for me because I really felt that the most enjoyable thing in my life was skating."

You can watch the exclusive interview below:

Hanyu was outscored in the free skate but still managed to claim victory at the Autumn Classic.

The Japanese star who won his second Olympic singles gold at PyeongChang 2018 professed himself "disappointed" after Friday's short programme, despite topping the scores.

Hanyu was far from perfect in his longer routine.

Dancing to 'Origin' by Edvin Marton, a composition based on Evgeni Plushenko's 'Tribute to Nijinsky' from 2003-04, the 23-year-old impressed with his artistic interpretation of the music.

Hanyu started with a shaky quadruple loop followed by an immaculate quadruple toe loop, but then fell on a quad salchow and later performed a double toe loop instead of a triple.

He also landed an untidy triple axel on his way to a score of 165.91 for a total of 263.65.

As on Friday, Hanyu was unhappy with his performance.

"I was really not ready to do this programme. This is where I am today. I must continue to work." - Yuzuru Hanyu

South Korea's Cha Jun-hwan, a training partner of Hanyu's under Brian Orser at nearby Toronto Cricket Club, produced the best score in the free skate.

The 16-year-old was awarded 169.22 for his routine to the 'Romeo and Juliet' soundtrack which featured two quad jumps, enough for second place on 259.78.

Third place went to Canada's Roman Sadovsky with Jason Brown of the United States slipping to fourth after he struggled on his free skate.

New beginnings

This is just the start for Hanyu in the 2018-19 season.

He begins his ISU Grand Prix campaign in the Finnish capital Helsinki on November 2 with China's Jin Boyang among his rivals.

Two weeks later, he is due to compete in the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow alongside fellow Japanese Kazuki Tomono.

Hanyu will need to improve the execution of his jumps if he is to remain at the pinnacle of men's figure skating.

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