Rising son: Young Hanyu tops Takahashi for gold

17-year-old Japanese phenom bests five-time Japanese champ; Miner surges to bronze

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu heads into the Grand Prix Final with tremendous momentum.
Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu heads into the Grand Prix Final with tremendous momentum. (Getty Images)


Related Content Top Headlines
By International Skating Union
(11/24/2012) - Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan struck gold in the men's event at the 2012 NHK Trophy. Teammate Daisuke Takahashi earned the silver medal, and American Ross Miner captured the bronze.

Performing to Notre-Dame de Paris, Hanyu nailed a quad toe and six triple jumps, including two Axels, and earned a Level 4 for two spins. However, the 17-year-old stepped out of his quad Salchow and missed a triple Lutz and combination spin.

The world bronze medalist posted a new season's best of 165.71 points for the segment and racked up 261.03 points overall.

"Even with the mistakes, I was able to surpass 160 points; that has given me confidence," Hanyu said. "I think that it was thanks to the hard training I have been doing that I was able to win this NHK Trophy."

Takahashi opened his routine to Pagliacci with a quad toe, but he two-footed and under-rotated the second quad toe. He went on to land six clean triples, and his spins were rated Level 4.

The world silver medalist scored 164.04 points, a new season's best, and remained in second place with 251.51 points.

"In the free program, I was able to land one quad toe, but for the second one and the Axel, there was a mistake," Takahashi said. "I really felt bad about that. I felt what I need to work on, what my weaknesses were. In training and joining the actual competition with the younger skaters, I feel that men's figure skating is at a very high level now and it is continuing to go higher."

Miner turned in a strong performance to Captain Blood, reeling off a quadruple Salchow and seven triple jumps.

The 2011 NHK Trophy bronze medalist collected 161.96 points, which was a new season's best, and moved up from fourth to third with 235.37 points overall.

"I had a short program I was not happy with, because I did a double Salchow," the reigning Four Continents bronze medalist said. "This is the first time I landed the quad Salchow in my program. I was happy with that, and I was also very pleased with myself that I was able to keep my focus all the way through my program after having done the quad."

Javier Fernández of Spain slipped from third to fourth with 232.78 points. Richard Dornbush of the U.S. came in fifth with 217.56 points.

U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon placed eighth with 210.47 points.

Hanyu, Takahashi and Fernández all qualified for the Grand Prix Final.