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Hanyu wins first gold for Japan

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

SOCHI, Russia - Yuzuru Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic figure skating gold in Sochi on Friday, as the teenager also claimed Japan's first title of the 2014 Winter Games.

The 19-year-old fell twice during an error-strewn performance but took his first major title ahead of three-time world champion Patrick Chan after the men's free skating final.

Denis Ten moved up from ninth after the short program to take a first Olympic figure skating bronze for Kazakhstan.

"A win's a win's a win. It's going to sink in. This is history. It's a gift for my country," said Hanyu, who comes from Sendai.

After setting a world record score in the short program, Hanyu sealed his historic victory with his free skate to Nino Rota's "Romeo and Juliet" in front of a capacity crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Carrying a 3.93-point lead in from the short program Hanyu scored 178.64 for the free skate, despite a two-point deduction, for an overall total of 280.09.

Chan, 23, achieved 178.10 to take silver after stumbling through Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and "Concerto Grosso" for an overall total of 275.62.

He became the latest Canadian to falter at the Olympics after Brian Orser, Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko, who had all entered Games as favourites but failed to land gold.

It is the fifth time a Canadian has finished runner-up in a men's Olympic final.

World silver medallist Ten was the only one of the top skaters to skate cleanly scoring 171.04 for his performance to "The Young Lady and the Hooligan".

Ten, who had looked out of the running after a season hampered by injury and illness, scored 255.10 overall.

It was a second straight Olympic title for Hanyu's coach Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, who guided Kim Yu-Na to the women's gold in Vancouver in 2010.

But Hanyu's training partner with Orser in Toronto, world bronze medallist Javier Fernandez, dropped from third to fifth.





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