Yuzuru Hanyu magnificent in Moscow

The double Olympic champion broke his own short program world record to lead by over 20 points at the Rostelecom Cup.

Yuzuru Hanyu produced another superb skate to dominate the short program at the Rostelecom Cup.

The double Olympic champion added to his record-breaking exploits at the Grand Prix of Helsinki two weeks ago, setting a new world record in the short program in Moscow.

The Japanese scored 110.53 points, having posted 106.69 on his seasonal Grand Prix debut in Finland.

Skating to Otonal by Raul di Blasio, Hanyu opened with a well-executed quadruple Salchow much to the delight of the fans in the Megasport Sport Palace.

He effortlessly pulled off the triple axel and his only clear flaw came during his quadruple toe loop into triple toe loop combination.

Hanyu said afterwards, "I can't say it was perfect. But I can say I'm really happy for the levels of each element."

The 23-year-old has long been popular in Russia with Evgeni Plushenko one of his heroes.

His free skate is a tribute to the 2004 singles gold medallist, and he is keen to impress.

"Today and tomorrow, both programs have a strong connection to Russia and its traditions and I would like to perform extremely well."

Yuzuru Hanyu during his short program at the Rostelecom Cup

Coach Brian Orser insisted he wasn't surprised by his charge's latest record-breaking display.

"It's amazing every time. It never gets old. Really, every performance is from his heart and it's 100%." - Hanyu's coach Brian Orser talking to Olympic Channel

He added, "He loves skating and he enjoys the process and that's what I love so much. And he respects us, respects our team.

"I like to see him happy, and he's been very happy and skating well."

Coaches Brian Orser (L) and Ghislain Briand await Yuzuru Hanyu after his world record short program at the Rostelecom Cup

Best of the rest

Morisi Kvitelashvili of Georgia had the best performance of his season to take second place.

The 23-year-old was the only other skater to cleanly land two quadruple jumps in his program to set a season's best of 89.94 points.

That was an improvement of over 20 points from his score at Skate America where he was down in 11th after the short program.

Morisi Kvitelashvili during his short program at the Rostelecom Cup

Kvitelashvili trains in Moscow under Eteri Tutberidze who also coaches Alina Zagitova.

He'll be looking for his first podium of the season after finishing eighth overall in Everett, Washington State.

Sweden's Alexander Majorov was third with a score of 82.33.

The 27-year-old will be pleased with his result after finishing sixth in his short program season debut at Skate Canada.

However, he only has a slim advantage over Japan's Kazuki Tomono who is well in contention for a top three finish.

Russia's Mikhail Kolyada was tipped to challenge for a podium spot but was well below par, finishing the day in eighth place with 69.10 points.

Keegan Messing also looks unlikely to repeat his podium finish at Skate Canada after he fell on his first jump.

The Canadian is down in seventh place.

The men's competition concludes on Saturday where the focus will yet again be on Hanyu as he bids to break his free skate world record from Helsinki.


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