- Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu failed to land a quadruple Axel at the Beijing Games.
- The quadruple Axel is a risky jump that requires skaters to spin four-and-a-half times in mid-air before landing.
- Hanyu then fell once more on his second jump while attempting a quadruple Salchow.
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu fell twice in his Olympic free skate program, crushing his dream of completing a quadruple Axel at the Beijing Games.
The defending champion attempted the risky jump — which required him to spin four-and-a-half times in mid-air before landing — in a bid to secure his third back-to-back figure skating gold medal. He came close to landing it at the Japanese nationals in December 2021 but landed on two feet instead of one.
Hanyu fell on his quadruple Axel attempt but continued skating after, then lost his balance one more time while making a second jump, a quadruple Salchow.
Hanyu’s attempt at the free skate netted him a score of 188.06 points, after a two-point deduction. He was seen touching the ice before leaving the rink smiling, in what might well be his last run at the Olympics.
The Japanese skater’s free skate took him to an overall total score of 283.21 points. He failed to make the podium, with Team Japan teammates Shoma Uno and Yuma Kagiyama claiming the bronze and silver medals, and American skater Nathan Chen clinching gold with a staggering 332.60 points.
Hanyu, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, went into the Games as Japan’s best of hope for a figure skating gold medal. He has been chasing the quad Axel for years — a jump that has never been cleanly completed in competition by any male figure skater.
As part of his program, “Heaven and Earth,” Hanyu was slated to attempt four planned quad jumps — a quadruple Axel, a quadruple Salchow, and two quadruple toe loops.
Hanyu’s attempt at the quad Axel came after a series of injuries nearly ended his career. He won his second gold medal in Pyeongchang in 2018, despite going into the Games while recovering from an ankle ligament injury. Another leg injury to the same foot prevented him from competing between April and November last year.
Hanyu went into Thursday’s free skate in eighth place, trailing American rival Chen by 95.15 points to 113.97 points in the short program.
On Tuesday, Chen broke Hanyu’s short program world record score, which the latter set at the 2020 Four Continents tournament, scoring a 113.97.
Courtesy By INSIDER