Monday, 19 March, 2018

Yuzuru Hanyu says quad Axel is 'only motivation'

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Kristopher Love | 23 February, 2018, 03:19

Now, wherever he skates, Hanyu's followers pepper him with Pooh bears after his routine, with event staff on hand to clear them off the ice.

Hanyu recorded 317.85 points, earning the title over compatriot Shoma Uno, winning the second place of 306.90 points, and Javier Fernandez on the third place scoring 305.24.

Speaking to the Japan Times, gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu explained that he, like many of his peers, donate the stuffed animals that are given to them during the games. "I'm really trying to win and do a good run every time but I didn't really realize that this really can happen", added the snowboard parallel world champion. "I put my head against the head of the yellow bear because it's a good-luck charm for me", Hanyu said. He also won the 1,000th gold medal in Winter Games history.

WITH many viewers new to the Winter Olympics and figure skating, people are confused why Winnie-The-Pooh has featured so prominently. "I am overwhelmed. I am just happy with my performance and my hard training and everything", said a teary Hanyu. "The fans just started doing it".

"But honestly, if there hadn't been anything before I got hurt at the NHK Trophy, I don't think I could have won Olympic gold", he said.

The 23-year-old Hanyu joins three other skaters who have retained the title - Gillis Grafstrom of Sweden (1920, 1924, 1928), Karl Schafer of Austria (1932, 1936) and Button (1948, 1952).

Uno botched his opening quad loop but was clean the rest of the way. "I can find one word, and that is 'happy". "It's just one of the competitions that I was participating in".

In addition to finishing runner-up at the world championships, Uno also placed second in the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya in December and at the Four Continents in Taipei last month.

For some skaters, winning back-to-back Olympic golds for the first time in more than half a century, especially while taking painkillers for a damaged ankle, would be achievement enough for a lifetime.

Hanyu skipped the team competition here to focus on being ready for the singles.

"I was very nervous at first, because in the six minutes warm-up I could not do any element clean and I fell".