Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu was not seen as the favorite going in to the men’s figure skating short program, but after breaking his own record that has changed.
Canada’s Patrick Chan was the favorite going in to the short program Thursday with Hanyu, Spain’s Javier Fernandez and Russia’s Yevgeny Plushenko expected to push him. After suffering an injury Plushenko was forced to withdraw and has since retired from competitive skating. Thanks to his performance in the short program the gold medal became Hanyu’s to lose.
The 19-year old already owned the world record going in to competition Thursday, but after skating a flawless routine set a new one with a 101.45 (you can see his routine here).
“I envied Plushenko for a long time and admired him and to be able to fight and defeat Plushenko on the same night is unbelievable,” said Hanyu.
While he is the leader the gold was not quite his just yet. With Plushenko out his main competition is Chan who scored a 97.52. It would take an epic meltdown in Friday’s free skating program by both Hanyu and Chan for Hernandez to take the gold medal (he scored an 86.98)–and it nearly happened.
Hanyu fell twice during his free skate routine, but thanks to a lifeless performance that included a couple of stumbles from Chan he was still able to take home the gold.