Olympic champion Hanyu sets record score to win NHK Trophy - Sports Illustrated

Olympic champion Hanyu sets record score to win NHK Trophy

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NAGANO, Japan (AP) Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu set a record score for the second straight night to win the NHK Trophy on Saturday and qualify for the Grand Prix Final.

Hanyu won the free skate to finish with a total of 322.40 points, 55.97 ahead of China's Jin Boyang. Takahito Mura of Japan was third with 242.21 points.

As well as the record highest total score, Hanyu's 216.07 free skate score was the highest ever, surpassing 196.75 set by Patrick Chan in 2013 at the Trophy Bompard.

Chan also held the previous record for the most overall points with 295.27.

''I just tried to execute each element carefully,'' Hanyu said. ''I was surprised by the score and it's hard to describe my feeling now. Not all the elements were completely clean but I tried to skate carefully while believing in my practice and physical ability.''

Skating to ''Seimei'' by Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, Hanyu's dominant free program included three quad jumps and seven triples.

He also set a record score in Friday's short program.

Boyang attempted four quads in his routine ''Dragon Racing.'' He successfully completed the first three but doubled a quad toeloop.

''Overall, I was satisfied with my components but had some small mistakes,'' Boyang said. ''I need to improve the free skate so I can get better results.''

Hanyu and Boyang qualified for December's GP Final in Barcelona from Dec. 10-13. Japan's Daisuke Murakami is the sixth qualifier, joining Javier Fernandez, Chan and Shoma Uno.

World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara won the women's event with a personal best 203.11 for her first Grand Prix title and clinched a place in the GP Final.

Courtney Hicks of the United States was second with 183.12, followed by three-time world champion Mao Asada with 182.99. Ashley Wagner was fourth with 179.33, a result that was good enough to qualify for the GP Final.

World champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada won the pairs event with 131.68 points. Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China were second with 124.02 while Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the United States were third with 122.23.

All three pairs qualified for the GP Final.