Confident Jin sets China's best result in Olympic men's singles figure skating

Updated 2018-02-17 15:52:04 Xinhua

China's Jin Boyang was ranked fourth here on Saturday to set a best result for the country in men's singles figure skating at Winter Olympic Games.

He scored 194.45 points to finish the fifth among 24 skaters in free skating, summing up to 297.77 points in total for the fourth overall.

Defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu won Japan the first gold medal in PyeongChang with a total of 317.85 points, beating another Japanese star Shoma Uno and multiple world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain to the second and third on 306.90 and 305.24 respectively.

Hanyu, 23, also become the first figure skater in 66 years to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in this event.

"I have no words right now. I am overwhelmed. I am just happy with my performance and my hard training and everything," said a teary Hanyu at the mixed zone.

More than 5,000 spectators in Gangneung Ice Arena might feel the waves of Deja vu when Hanyu, in a delicately-embroidered costume of ancient Japanese ghost chaser, replayed Seimei, a defining program he staged in 2015-2016 season to bring him to the peak of his career back then, but in a more ethereal way on Saturday.

Despite two stumbling landings after a quad salchow jump and a triple lutz jump, Hanyu finished the routine infectiously with an impressive presentation score of 96.63 points.

Comparing with the Japanese peers, Chinese male figure skater still have a long way to go at the Olympic Games after making debut in individual event in 1980. Previously, the best record was made by Jin's teammate Yan Han as the 7th finisher in Sochi.

Hopes weighed on the shoulders of Jin, who won the Four Continents Championships last month, as fans back in China believed that he could be the record breaker and even come back home with a medal.

In the Star Wars soundtrack, the 20-year-old Jin presented a powerful and quality program. The only scar of his show was marked when he fell down onto the ice after a quad toeloop jump.

Tired and nervous, Jin finally burst into tears in the kiss and cry corner when his score read on the screen.

"I'm 20 and I know I have a lot of potentials. I will working hard for standing on the podium at the next Olympics in Beijing," Jin told Xinhua.

For the injury-haunted Yan, however, ended his second Olympic journey in a rather frustrating way. Narrowly squeaking into the final free skating by finishing the 19th among 24 qualifiers after short program, he failed to pick up in the long program and scarred in four of his eight planned jumps, which brought him down to the 23rd.

"I'm relieved in a sort of way," said a weary Yan. He had surgeries in March, which left him with five screws in the shoulder. "I went onto the rink as an explanation to my own -- It's not easy for me to be here and I'm qualified into the free skating. I finished it, in a pretty bad way though. I'm happy I can be honest with myself and accept the fact."

"But I'm not a quitter. I will take a break and go back for training, day by day, even harder, for a better me," he added.

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