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World bronze medalist Hanyu switches to Orser

Up-and-coming Japanese skater to train in Toronto, still go to school in Sendai

Yuzuru Hanyu is coming off a season in which he medaled at four of his six events.
Yuzuru Hanyu is coming off a season in which he medaled at four of his six events. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(04/25/2012) - Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, the bronze medalist at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships and one of the fast rising in the sport of figure skating, has switched coaches and will begin training with Brian Orser in Toronto, the Jiji Press reported Wednesday.

Hanyu has been coached his entire career by Nanami Abe in Sendai. Under her tutelage, he won the 2010 world junior title, took the silver medal at the 2011 Four Continents Championships and qualified for the 2011 Grand Prix Final, where he placed fourth.

Orser most notably directed Korea's Yu-Na Kim to the Olympic gold medal in 2010. Among his current pupils at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club are Spain's Javier Fernandez, the 2011 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist; two-time European bronze medalist Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia; and American Christina Gao.

Hidehito Ito, the figure skating director at the Japanese Skating Federation, said the change was necessary to "challenge" Hanyu and "raise the level [of his skating] more."

Hanyu will continue to attend high school in Sendai while making frequent trips to Toronto to receive instruction from Orser.