Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan beats Patrick Chan in free skate to win Grand Prix Final - InfoNews

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Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan beats Patrick Chan in free skate to win Grand Prix Final

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan performs during the free skating of the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating at Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, western Japan, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
December 06, 2013 - 5:58 AM

FUKUOKA, Japan - Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan brushed off a fall and merely increased his lead in beating three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada at the Grand Prix Final on Friday.

Hanyu, who had a 12-point lead after Thursday's short program, fell on his opening quad salchow but completed all of his other jumps, including seven triple jumps plus a quad toe loop in the free skate to eclipse Chan by 13 points.

"I wasn't completely satisfied with the long program," Hanyu said. "But after falling on the quad I was able to pull myself together and complete all my jumps and that was huge."

Chan also hit all his jumps but was unable to erase the deficit and finished with 280.08 points to Hanyu's 293.25. Nobunari Oda of Japan, a late substitute for defending GP Final champion Daisuke Takahashi, was third with 255.96.

"It was a good day and I'm happy with how I skated," Chan said. "I felt nervous going into the long program. It was a mental battle even before I got on the ice."

Beating Chan was a huge boost for Hanyu's chances of being selected to represent Japan at the Sochi Olympics.

"This is a huge step for Sochi," said Hanyu, who will turn 19 on Saturday. "I feel I am meeting all the requirements. We still have the national championships but obviously, I am feeling pretty confident."

Chan said he wasn't disappointed with the result.

"I get more satisfaction out of skating a good long program than winning gold," Chan said. "I skated a bad short program here and a good long program. Usually, it's the other way around."

In ice dancing, world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States led after the short dance with 77.66 points, seven-tenths of a point ahead of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia were first after the pairs short program with 82.65. World silver medallists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany were second with 79.46 while Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China were third on 75.40.

The GP Final is the first and only event where most of the world's top skaters will meet before the Sochi Olympics. The women's free skate and the ice dance and pairs free programs are scheduled for Saturday.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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