Sports: Japan’s Hanyu leads after flawless short program at worlds

(From AP)

Yuzuru Hanyu, the Japanese skating star who often trains in Toronto, started to answer a question in English about the pressure he faces and then had to stop himself.

”I can’t explain – I’m speaking Japanese, sorry,” he said with a sheepish laugh.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan thanks the crowd after his routine during the men's short program in the World Figure Skating Championship on Wednesday.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan thanks the crowd after his routine during the men’s short program in the World Figure Skating Championship on Wednesday.

That was about the only thing the Olympic gold medalist couldn’t do flawlessly Wednesday at the world championships, when he took a large lead after the short program. It was the latest stellar performance in a brilliant season for the 21-year-old Hanyu, who was a fraction of a point from the record score he set in December’s Grand Prix Final.

”My standard has been rising – I do feel the pressure,” he went on to say through a translator. ”But it doesn’t really affect my performance. I want to really enjoy my skating, and I think I was able to show that today.”

With dozens of Japanese flags waving in the stands, he scored 110.56 points to lead defending champ Javier Fernandez by more than 12. Hanyu effortlessly landed two quadruple jumps while his main rivals fell.

Spain’s Fernandez, who also is coached by two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser, knew that adding a second quad to his short program was a risk, and he fell on the salchow to finish with 98.52 points. Read More



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