Triple dream burst: Double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has lost all chances of another gold medal in the short program. After a “refused” jump, the Japanese superstar is only eighth in the freestyle decision of the figure skaters on Thursday in Beijing (2:30 p.m. OZ/9:30 a.m. CET), he is almost 20 points short of first place.
Instead, Nathan Chen is running towards his first Olympic gold medal. The American scored a new world record of 113.97 points in his freestyle. However, Hanyu’s compatriots Yuma Kagiyama (108.12) and Shoma Uno (105.90) are still within striking distance of the three-time world champion, Hanyu himself only received 95.15 points.
“I felt good, but I felt a hole in the ice on my first jump. It was just a coincidence, it’s okay. In the free skate, I have another chance to do my best,” said Hanyu.
By this point in the competition, he had long since retired to the catacombs of National Capital Stadium, disappointed. Because the 27-year-old practically didn’t jump off the Salchow planned four times and had to accept severe point losses. It didn’t help the ex-world champion that he did the rest of the short freestyle perfectly.
In his catch-up race, which was forced by the serious mistake, Hanyu will hardly be able to avoid jumping the quadruple axel, which he announced as a world premiere. If he succeeds in this, winning the bronze medal is still possible.
Because of a coronavirus infection, Vincent Zhou from the USA, who was considered a medal candidate, had to cancel his start. The Olympic sixth from Pyeongchang 2018 had previously won the silver medal in the team competition with the US team.
The competition in the Capital Indoor Stadium takes place without German participation. Four-time German champion Paul Fentz only qualified for the Olympic team competition and returned to Berlin on Monday. The German team took ninth place.