Asian countries are thus far dominating the World Junior Figure Skating Championships this week, as Japan and China take the top two spots in the men’s event today after doing the same yesterday in the pairs’ competition. But in a reversal of the standings, it was Japanese junior champion Yuzuru Hanyu who prevailed over Chinese standout Nan Song to capture Japan’s fourth World Junior title in the men’s event in the past ten years.
Related: Men’s preview
Hanyu was solid in both phases of the competition, skating two clean programs to take the gold with a total score of 216.10. At just 15 years of age, he has already developed a solid jump technique, dominating the junior international season this year without a loss. He took sixth amongst a deep and talented pool of Japanese senior skaters at his National Championships and looks to be following in the footsteps of his Olympian countrymen, Daisuke Takahashi, Nobunari Oda, and Takahiko Kozuka, all of whom won the Junior World title.
Song pulled up from fifth in the short with a seven-triple free skate that earned him a 137.28 for a total of 205.25. This is the third time this season that he has finished second to Hanyu, including the Junior Grand Prix Final in December. But his performances this season show great promise for a skater who is technically strong and possesses great musicality, a rare combination in Chinese men’s skating. Hanyu and Song are sure to continue their budding rivalry into the senior circuit.
Also pulling up was the bronze medalist, Russian junior champion Artur Gachinski. He doubled his opening quad toe, but recovered to land seven triples to earn a 199.19, putting him on the podium by just over two points.
The two Americans who stood atop the standings after the short program had a tougher time in the free skate, both falling on a triple axel in their free skate. Keegan Messing finished fourth and Grant Hochstein finished fifth. The third American, Armin Mahbanoozadeh, finished in tenth place.
In seventh was a familiar name, Artur Dmitriev, who is the son of the two-time Olympic pairs’ champion. Dmitriev was the only skater in the field to land a quadruple jump in the free skate, pulling up from a disappointing 15th in the short to seventh overall.
MEN (final standings)
1. Yuzuru Hanyu JPN – 216.10
2. Nan Song CHN – 205.25
3. Artur Gachinski RUS – 199.19
4. Keegan Messing USA – 197.03
5. Grant Hochstein USA – 194.30
6. Andrei Rogozine CAN – 179.81
7. Artur Dmitriev RUS – 177.78
8. Alexander Majorov SWE – 177.01
9. Denis Ten KAZ – 171.86
10. Armin Mahbanoozadeh USA – 168.69
11. Abzal Rakimgaliev KAZ – 167.88
12. Javier Raya ESP – 164.41
13. Morgan Cipres FRA – 162.01
14. Jiaxing Liu CHN – 161.50
15. Jorik Hendrickx BEL – 159.67
16. Daniel Dotzauer GER – 154.83
17. Wenbo Zang CHN – 148.99
18. Sebastian Iwasaki POL – 142.39
19. Kevin Alves BRA – 141.44
20. Ronald Lam CAN – 141.31
21. Petr Coufal CZE – 138.11
22. Stephen Li-Chung Kuo TPE – 136.27
23. Petr Bidar CZE – 131.30
24. Bela Papp FIN – 128.78
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