Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, 19, won Japan’s first gold medal at the Winter Olympics on Friday night in Sochi.
However, Hanyu had a difficult time during the competition, as he fell on his opening jump, a quad salchow, and crashed on his third, a triple flip. That was similar to an invitation to the podium for Canadian Patrick Chan, but he made three errors in a watered-down program to finish second.
The third place was won by Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten. None of the three seemed outstanding during the competition, the international press comments. The skaters looked tired by the end of their routines and this program of the men’s Olympics seemed to be one of the sloppiest one can remember, according to the media.
When the 19-year-old Hanyu finished, kneeling, he laid two hands on the ice for a long time, thinking he ruined the show.
“I was so nervous and I was so tired,” he said. “But I was surprised (to win). I was not happy with my program.”
Asked if he thought he would win, Hanyu shook his head.
“No, I was so sad,” he said.
But he was very happy when the results were shown and skated in front of the spectators holding a Japanese flag.
The last time Japan won gold at the Olympic figure skating competition was eight years ago, when Shizuka Arakawa took the medal in women’s figure skating in Turin.