Hanyu reels in gold with free skate masterpieceJapanese phenom beats out Chan with virtuoso performance
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan skated off with the men's gold medal at the 2013 Grand Prix Final, with Canada's Patrick Chan settling for the silver and Nobunari Oda of Japan picking up the bronze.
Hanyu missed the opening quad Salchow in his routine to music from Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota, but then rallied back to reel off a quadruple toe loop and eight triple jumps as well as two Level 4 spins. The reigning Four Continents silver medalist scored a new personal best with 193.41 points and totaled 293.25 points to win the Grand Prix Final one day before his 19th birthday.
"I was not satisfied with my performance," Hanyu said. "I knew that Patrick Chan did a clean program because of the standing ovation and the high points. I was aiming for a perfect program, since it would have been nice to do one before Sochi. I think that I was able to push through the rest of the program (after the missed quad) because of the supporters in Japan."
Performing to "Four Seasons" and "Concerto Grosso," Chan nailed a quad-double toe combo and a quad toe as well as six triples. He earned Level 4's for two spins and footwork. The three-time reigning world champion amassed 192.61 points for the segment and had 280.08 points overall.
"Today was a great day for me," Chan said. "Very happy with the way I skated. I felt very nervous and scared going to the long program. It was a real mental battle before when I stepped on the ice. This is a gold medal for me because I learned the fact that I get more satisfaction out of skating a good long program than winning the gold medal."
Oda's program to William Tell featured a quad-triple toe combination, two triple Axels and four more triples, but he crashed on the first quad toe. The 26-year-old scored 175.02 points for the day, just below his personal best, which added up to 255.96 points overall.
"After I missed the quad, just like yesterday, I came back to myself," Oda said. "The performance was better than yesterday. My mother advised me to enjoy the opportunity. I appreciate that I am able to have this chance to skate at such a big competition and in front of a nice audience."
Japan's Tatsuki Machida pulled up from sixth to fourth with 236.03 points, followed by Russian Maxim Kovtun with 233.24 points and China's Han Yan with 232.55 points.