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. (Getty Images)|
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."
U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon placed eighth with 210.47 points.
Hanyu, Takahashi and Fernández all qualified for the Grand Prix Final.