Yuzuru Hanyu wins Skate Canada by largest margin in Grand Prix history
Yuzuru Hanyu won Skate Canada by what is believed to be the largest margin in Grand Prix figure skating history -- 59.82 points.
The two-time Olympic champion, with four quadruple jumps in his free skate en route to 322.59 total points, only upped anticipation for showdowns with American Nathan Chen to come later this season.
“About my current program, I think it’s still 30 or 20 percent,” Hanyu said of the free skate, according to Olympic Channel. “Ultimately, I want to include the quad Axel, and possibly the [quad] Lutz as well. I’m still not sure yet.”
Hanyu committed only minor jumping errors between Friday’s short program and Saturday’s free skate en route to the highest score in the world this season. It’s 23.5 points better than world champion Chen’s winning total at Skate America last week.
Chen landed five quads between two programs at Skate America; Hanyu six at Skate Canada.
It’s also Hanyu’s first time eclipsing 300 points on the fall Grand Prix in three years, setting him up well for his first head-to-head with Chen this season, likely at December’s Grand Prix Final.
“In this competition I was able to win within myself. I skated well in the short and free program, which I didn’t manage before,” Hanyu said, according to the International Skating Union. “I put a lot of pressure on myself before this competition, because I wanted to exceed 300 points.”
Hanyu prevailed over a field lacking any of the other top-10 skaters from last season. Canadian Nam Nguyen was a distant runner-up, followed by Japanese Keiji Tanaka. American Camden Pulkinen, second after the short, ended up fourth with quadruple toe loops in both programs.
Hanyu held the previous Grand Prix margin record of 55.97 points from the 2015 NHK Trophy, back when he dominated the sport. Hanyu set back-to-back records for total score at 2015 NHK and the 2015 Grand Prix Final.
He was set back the last two seasons by a right ankle injury first suffered in November 2017. Meanwhile, the American Chen ascended to win the last two world titles, outscoring Hanyu in their last three head-to-head programs dating to the 2018 Olympic free skate.
The Grand Prix season continues in France next week, headlined by Chen and fellow world champions Alina Zagitova and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) -- 322.59
2. Nam Nguyen (CAN) -- 262.77
3. Keiji Tanaka (JPN) -- 250.02
4. Camden Pulkinen (USA) -- 244.78
5. Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) -- 227.40
6. Matteo Rizzo (ITA) -- 223.78
7. Nicolas Nadeau (CAN) -- 222.33
8. Andrei Lazukin (RUS) -- 212.07
9. Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS) -- 211.63
10. Roman Sadovsky (CAN) -- 204.35
11. Paul Fentz (GER) -- 202.24
12. Brendan Kerry (AUS) -- 193.77
As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating 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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