Yuzuru Hanyu repeats as gold medalist in PyeongChang


Yuzuru Hanyu successfully defended his gold medal in PyeongChang, tallying 317.85 total points. Shoma Uno, also from Japan, took the silver with 306.90 points.

Javier Fernandez won Spain’s first-ever Olympic figure skating medal, a bronze, with 305.24 points.

All three men from Team USA finished inside the top 10. Nathan Chen rallied from 17th in the short program to fifth overall. Vincent Zhou followed for sixth in his Olympic debut, while Adam Rippon finished 10th.

Hanyu injured his ankle in November; the PyeongChang are Olympics are his first competition since. His recovery took longer than expected and he only returned to landing his triple Axel about three weeks ago. His quads only came back two weeks ago.

Hanyu joins an exlusive club of men’s skaters who have won successive Olympic golds: Gillis Grafstron (Sweden; 1920, 1924, 1928), Karl Schafer (Austria, 1932 and 1936), and most recently, Dick Button (United States, 1948 and 1952).

Also like Button, Hanyu came to the Olympics as the reigning world champion. The most recent man to win Olympic gold as the reigning world champion was Team USA’s Evan Lysacek in 2010.

Hanyu is also the third Japanese athlete across all Winter Olympic sports to win two gold medals. The others, Kenji Ogiwara and Takanori Kono, won gold in Nordic combined’s team event in 1992 and 1994.

It’s the third consecutive medal for Japanese men at the Olympics. The trend began in 2010 with Daisuke Takahashi’s bronze, followed by Hanyu’s two golds.

This is the first Olympic men’s event in 16 years that two men from the same country have earned medals. In PyeongChang, it’s Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno; in 2002, it was Alexei Yagudin and Yevgeny Plushenko.

With his bronze medal, Javier Fernandez of Spain made history of his own. He earned the first-ever figure skating medal for Spain and only the fourth Winter Olympics medal overall. The first two were won by Alpine skier siblings in 1972 and 1992. On Thursday, Spain’s Regino Hernandez took a surprise bronze in snowboard cross. Spain doubled their all-time medal tally at the Winter Olympics after Hernandez’s and Fernandez’s PyeongChang medals.

Fernandez and Hanyu train together under coach Brian Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medalist himself. Orser also coached South Korean superstar Yuna Kim to her 2010 gold medal.

Catch in-depth analysis from the free skate with Kristi Yamaguchi, Charlie White and Ben Agosto on the Olympic Ice Post-Show.