Yuzuru Hanyu breaks world records, three-peats at Grand Prix Final
Yuzuru Hanyu broke his world record free skate and total scores for the second straight competition and became the first man to win three straight Grand Prix Finals in Barcelona on Saturday.
The Olympic champion landed three quadruple jumps and two triple Axels on Saturday. He scored 219.48 points for his free skate and 330.43 overall, both breaking his world records from NHK Trophy in Japan two weeks ago.
His margin of victory, 37.48 points, broke the Grand Prix Final record of 35.1 points under the decade-old scoring system set by Yevgeny Plushenko in 2004. No man, woman, pair or ice dance couple has ever won by the large of a margin at an Olympics, Worlds or Grand Prix Final.
Hanyu said the performance was “almost perfect.”
“I just want to do the perfect feeling,” said Hanyu, who also broke his short program world record from NHK on Friday and is the only man to clear 300 points. “I feel like score is score. My performance is my performance. That’s a difference, right?
“I’m really, really nervous, and I feel really heavy pressure today. So I wasn’t comfortable. Please tell me how do I get confidence in my performance?”
Spain’s Javier Fernandez took silver behind Hanyu for a second straight year with 292.95 total points, landing two quads clean and stepping out of the landing of a third in his free skate.
“After the short program, I know Yuzuru was way far away already,” said Fernandez, who trailed by 19.43 after the short program. “If he does a great program, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Japan’s Shoma Uno, the reigning World junior champion, earned bronze with 276.79 and two quads Saturday.
Canada’s Patrick Chan, a three-time World champion, improved from last place (sixth overall) after the short program to finish fourth.
NBC will air Grand Prix Final coverage Dec. 20 from 4-6 p.m. ET. The Grand Prix Final is the most prestigious annual competition outside of the World Championships.
The figure skating season continues with National Championships in Japan, Russia and the U.S. in December and January.
The World Championships are in Boston in late March and early April. Fernandez upset Hanyu at last season’s World Championships.