The men took to the ice for the short program at the 2020 Four Continents Championships on Friday evening — a competition that was a mix of highs and lows. Of the 25 men who competed there were only six falls, with none occurring in the top 16.
Performing to his 2018 Olympic short program, “Ballade No.1” by Chopin, Yuzuru Hanyu opened with a solid quad Salchow followed by a quad toe-triple toe, and a triple Axel that seemed to sail through the air. His footwork sequence and the three spins were all graded Level 4.
Hanyu was rewarded with 111.82 points, a new World record score. “I think I skated with elegance today and today’s performance was the most perfect performance I’ve ever done,” he said. “Also, I tried to express my music deeply with my feeling and I could jump higher and with more perfection.
“Actually, I set as a goal a score higher than 110 for myself. I grew confident during the performance because I felt so good while I skated,” Hanyu added.
China’s Boyang Jin also laid down a solid performance set to the music “First Light,” which featured a quad Lutz-triple toe combination and a quad toe. His only miscue was a shaky landing of the triple Axel. He also earned Level 4s for his spins and step sequence and finished in second place with 95.83 points. “Overall my performance was OK but it could have been better,” said the 2019 Four Continents silver medalist. “The quad Lutz and the triple Axel were not as good as they could have been and I hope to do better.”
Jin said his goal is to win another Four Continents medal. I have been practicing really well and I want to perform as well as I can do in practice and meet my goal.”
Jason Brown landed in third with a season high score of 94.71 for his performance to “I Can’t Go On Without You,” which included a triple flip, a triple Axel and a triple Lutz-triple toe combination. “Breaking my season’s best was my goal coming into Four Continents. As the season goes on, you always want to improve your score,” he said. “I had a rough early start to the season. To be able to really learn from those events and come out and do a strong program at this Four Continents Championships makes me really proud of that.”
Canada’s Keegan Messing also had a solid outing and sits in fourth with 94.03 points. Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama, fresh off his 2020 Youth Olympic Games victory, sits in fifth with 91.61 points. Homeland favorite Jun-Hwan Cha finished sixth (90.37 points).
For others, it was a disappointing day. With a three-way battle underway for Canada’s lone spot in the men’s event at the 2020 World Championships, Nam Nguyen was looking for a top finish in this segment. He currently sits in ninth place, slightly less than 10 points behind Messing. Roman Sadovsky could not find his jumps today, landing just one clean triple (a Lutz). He opened the program with a double Salchow for which he received no points, fell on an under-rotated triple Axel and received a second under-rotation call for the jump on the backend of his combination. He sits in 17th place with 65.87 points.