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Hanyu picks up gold in front of home crowd

Japanese star earns second medal of season; American Chen takes silver
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Yuzuru Hanyu's masterful performance in Japan helped the 21-year-old earn his second medal of the Grand Prix season. After finishing second at Skate Canada, Hanyu recorded a whopping 301.47 total points en route to his gold medal-winning showing at NHK Trophy. Skating to "Hope and Legacy" by Joe Hisaishi for his free skate, Hanyu outgained his nearest competitor by nearly 33 points. -Getty Images

The 2016 NHK Trophy continued Saturday in Sapporo, Japan, with the short dance, and pairs, ladies and men's free skates.

Virtue and Moir grab lead in short dance

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir danced to the lead in Saturday's short dance, setting themselves up for a run at another gold medal.

Virtue and Moir's dance to Prince's "Kiss," "Five Women" and "Purple Rain" featured intricate footwork, fast twizzles and a curve lift. The 2014 Olympic silver medalists collected Level 4's for their blues pattern, side-by-side footwork, twizzles and lift. The team set a new world record with 79.47 points, a mark that was previously held by Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

"Tessa and I are very pleased with our skate today," Moir said. "It felt pretty similar to what we've been done in training at home. We had some work to do to bring our levels up, and it was nice to get a couple of Level 4's."

Dancing to a blues and swing medley, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron produced three Level 4 elements, but their partial step sequence garnered only a Level 2. The two-time world champions scored 75.60 points.

"We put together a pretty good skate today, with a few mistakes on the elements," Cizeron noted. "Overall, we're pretty happy with our performance today, because it was a good one."

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte sit third after their short dance, which was set to "Cry For Me" and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie." The 2014 world champions received Level 4's for two elements and Level 3's for three elements on their way to a score of 72.00.

"We had a little wobble, and it definitely was not the best that we could put out there," Cappellini said. "But, it's a work in progress and we're looking forward to making this dance very strong for the technical part."

Duhamel, Radford in top form once again

Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford skated to the gold medal in the pairs event, clinching their spot in the upcoming Grand Prix Final. China's Cheng Peng and Yang Jin also sealed their place in the Final with a silver-medal performance in Sapporo.

Skating to Édith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien," the Canadian duo completed a triple twist, throw quadruple salchow, throw triple lutz and somewhat shaky side-by-side triple lutzes in their free skate. The two-time world champions earned 131.61 points to win their third NHK Trophy gold medal with 204.56 total points.

"Much like Friday's long program, there were some very strong elements and some unfortunate mistakes," Radford said. "For me, personally, I don't know what happened, but at the end of the program, my body got very tight, my legs were very tired, and we just mismatched the timing on that last lift, and it was a bit of a struggle. But, we have to make these mistakes throughout the season so that we can learn from them so that they don't happen again."

Peng and Jin's program to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg included a triple twist, throw triple salchow and five Level 4 elements. The Cup of China silver medalists scored 123.54 points and slipped from first after the short program to second overall with 196.87 total points.

"Today I made mistakes on the jumps, and we did not show our level," Peng said. "We are in second place but not satisfied with the performance."

Xuehan Wang and Lei Wang executed a triple twist, throw triple loop and throw triple salchow. The Chinese team picked up 119.66 points and remained in third place at 185.32 points to secure their third Grand Prix bronze medal.

"Overall, we are pleased with our program, although there were still errors and it was not perfect," Lei Wang said. "But we know what we have to work on for the next competition."

Pogorilaya cruises to victory with impressive display

Russia's Anna Pogorilaya struck gold in the ladies event and locked up a berth in the 2016 Grand Prix Final. Satoko Miyahara of Japan and Russia's Maria Sotskova secured the second and third positions, respectively, while also clinching their place in the Final.

Pogorilaya reeled off a triple lutz-triple toe, triple lutz-single loop-triple salchow combination and three additional triple jumps in her routine to "The Modigliani Suite" and "Memorial." The 2016 world bronze medalist scored 139.30 points and totaled 210.86 points to win her second Grand Prix gold medal this season.

"I am completely satisfied with my performance today, although there were some little mistakes like in the short program yesterday," Pogorilaya said. "I'm also extremely happy to go to the Grand Prix Final again."

Performing to "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, Miyahara landed a triple loop, double axel-triple toe combination and two other clean triples, and she received Level 4's for her spins and footwork. The 2015 world silver medalist picked up 133.80 points and moved up from third after the short program to clinch the silver medal.

"Today's performance was much better than yesterday's, but I was more nervous," she said. "I am glad to be in second place, and I found many things I want to practice."

Sotskova produced a triple lutz-triple toe and two clean triples, and achieved Level 4 spins and steps in her routine set to "Adagio" by Alfred Schnittke. With 125.92 points, the world Junior silver medalist was ranked third in the free skate and finished third overall with 195.88 points.

"I liked skating today; there were many people, and I felt their support," the Russian skater noted. "I am happy I did a clean performance, but I made some mistakes and I will work on that."

Japan's Wakaba Higuchi finished fourth with 185.39 points, while Mirai Nagasu of the United States landed in fifth.

Hanyu dominates to claim gold in Sapporo

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan skated off with the gold medal in one of the most dominant performances of the season.

Performing to "Hope and Legacy" by Joe Hisaishi, Hanyu pulled off three quads -- loop, salchow and toe -- as well as two triple axels and three additional triple jumps. The 2014 Olympic champion posted a new season's best with 197.58 points and racked up 301.47 points overall to win his first gold medal on the Grand Prix circuit this season.

"I am actually very relieved that I advanced to the Grand Prix Final and also I was able to land the quad loop for the first time in an official major competition program," Hanyu said. "I was certainly feeling anxious coming in, but at the same time I was mentally prepared because I was confident that I had practiced very hard. Additionally, this is my home turf, and I was able to get a lot of support."

While Hanyu locked up the gold medal, Nathan Chen hit a quadruple flip-triple toe and quadruple toe-double toe as well as four triples in his routine to "Polovtsian Dances" by Alexander Borodin, securing a silver medal in the process. The Junior Grand Prix Final champion achieved a new personal best of 180.97 points and accumulated 268.91 points overall. Along with Hanyu, Chen clinched a spot in the upcoming Final.

"I just want to say how much of a relief it is to be able to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in the first year as a senior," the American said. "I made a few mistakes today that shouldn't happen, but I think it's a good step for me."

Keiji Tanaka's program to the music of Nino Rota featured a quad salchow (with a hand down), quad salchow-double toe and six clean triples, including a triple axel-double toe-double loop combination. The 2011 world junior silver medalist earned 167.95 points -- a new personal best -- which added up to 248.44 points.

"My goal for NHK Trophy was to give a very good performance, and I'm happy with the result," Tanaka said following his third-place finish. "However, compared to Yuzuru and Nathan, my score still is not that great, so I feel stronger than before about building up and working on my mistakes."