Yuzuru Hanyu leads after short program at Autumn Classic

The two-time Olympic figure skating champion made his 2018-19 season debut 

2 min By Scott Bregman

The king is back.

After seven months away from competition, two-time Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan made his 2018-19 season debut at the Autumn Classic at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Canada, just outside Toronto.

His short program, set to ‘Otonal’ by Raul di Blasio, was not quite perfect but landed him comfortably in first place. The 23-year-old earned a total score of 97.74 points. Korea’s Junhwan Cha was more than seven points back with a 90.56. The U.S.’s Jason Brown rounded out the top three at 88.90.

Though he received no negative grade of execution marks, Hanyu was not satisfied with his performance.

“I’m disappointed with my performance today,” he said. “I felt I needed to focus more until the end.”

His program included two quadruple jumps and a triple axel, each of which was slightly off, he said afterwards. Despite a few shaky landings, the two-time world champion was focused more on his presentation and connection to his music.

“Ideally I want to… explain the story of my program. I’m not happy enough because I didn’t feel the music enough today,” he said. Adding, “I want to use [the music more], I want to use more skating, I want to feel more ice for tomorrow.”

He also says – after having reached the highest points in his sport multiple times – that he’s focused on a new goal:

“I want to do the quad axel in the future.”

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