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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hanyu rallies to world junior title


Staff writer

Yuzuru Hanyu vaulted from third place after the short program to win the gold medal in men's singles at the world junior championships at The Hague on Thursday night.

News photo
Capping off a great season: Yuzuru Hanyu captured the men's world junior title in The Hague on Thursday night. KYODO PHOTO

Hanyu's victory makes him the fourth Japanese man to capture the world junior title. He joins Vancouver Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi (2002), Nobunari Oda (2005) and Takahiko Kozuka (2006) in holding the honor.

Trailing Americans Grant Hochstein and Keegan Messing heading into the free skate, the 15-year-old Hanyu stormed to the title by landing seven triple jumps to finish with a total score of 216.10. He notched a personal best mark of 147.35 in the free skate performing to Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini."

China's Nan Song earned the silver, while Russia's Artur Gachinski took the bronze.

Hanyu, who also came from behind to win the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo last December, was pleased with both his effort and the result.

"I am very happy to win this competition and I am satisfied with today's performance, including the jumps, steps and spins," he said. "I did my best. I am very happy to win, but I am even happier with the performance itself."

The victory made it a clean sweep for Hanyu this season in the junior ranks. The Sendai native won both Junior GPs (in Croatia and Poland) he entered and the Japan junior title in Yokohama.



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