2014.02.13 - 索契冬奥 (Day 6) SP 新闻报导(外媒)

▶ 2014.02.13 - 索契冬奥 (Day 6) SP 新闻报导 / 一问一答 / 图集(日媒) / 图集(外媒)

Figure skating 101: Hanyu puts on clinic in short
Chan sits 3.93 behind leader; Brown within striking distance of podium
Posted 2/13/14 by Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork

Yuzuru Hanyu, who seems to have arrived in Sochi riding a bolt of lightning, lit up the Iceberg Skating Palace with a spectacular short program that scored 101.45 points.

The 19-year-old Japanese champion eclipsed his own world record and leads Patrick Chan by nearly four points heading into Friday's free skate at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. He is now four-and-a-half minutes away from becoming Japan's first men's Olympic figure skating champion.

On a wild night that included Evgeni Plushenko's theatrical withdrawal with a back injury and a scary, head-first fall by Jeremy Abbott on a quadruple toe loop, "Yuzu" grabbed the spotlight.

Skating with abandon, playing to the crowd and pushing his blades to the edge, the skater flew through each element of his "Parisian Walkways" program. His jumps, including an opening quadruple toe loop, were high and smooth; his spins, liquid and fast.

"I think I went to a good point," Hanyu said through an interpreter. "I think I performed about 90 percent of my best performance. I haven't hit my peak yet."

The teenager, who trains under Brian Orser in Toronto, has astounded observers by reeling off quad toes and Salchows -- as well as letter-perfect steps and spins -- in practices that are the talk of Sochi's figure skating community.

"I got him when he was 16, and just like any 16-year-old athlete, he wanted faster, bigger, more, more, more," said Orser, who has coached Hanyu since April 2012. "The challenge was to organize him better so he could be reliable on competition day."

In 2010, Hanyu won the world junior title; he was fourth in the world last season after winning world bronze in 2012. In December, he defeated Chan to win the Grand Prix Final.

Orser attributes his student's rapid progress to consistent emphasis on improving his skating skills, including frequent exercises and drills.

"Even when Yuzu is getting ready for a big competition, Tracy Wilson, David Wilson and I work on his skating skills," Orser said. "It's not just doing run-throughs, which is the way I grew up."

The emergence of such a formidable competitor, on the cusp of what seemed likely Olympic victory, is a nightmare for Canada and its three-time world champion Chan, who is trying to break the so-called "Canadian curse" and become the first Canadian to win Olympic gold in men's figure skating.

Three Canadian world champions -- Orser (1988), Kurt Browning (1992 and 1994) and Elvis Stojko (1998) -- arrived at Olympics as world champions. None won gold; Orser and Stojko each won two silver medals.

"It's never been done before, and it's there for me to grasp, and it's tangible, and it's tough not to think about it at the end of the day," Chan, 23, said. "No human being can deal with that pressure. You set yourself up for trouble if your goal, when you step on to the ice, is a gold medal. I learned that in Vancouver (2010)."

Chan had a superb skate to Rachmaninoff's "Elegie in e-flat minor," showing his matchless edges, flow and musical phrasing, but an overrotated triple Axel cost him any chance of the lead. His 97.52 points put him 3.93 points behind Hanyu heading into Friday's free skate.

The triple Axel has long been the biggest crack in Chan's armor, but he tried to turn his mistake on the jump into a positive, explaining that it had grown so large it was difficult to control.

"My triple Axel was huge; I'm getting so confident in my Axel," Chan said. "I looked at the replay, and you can tell it's way higher. I'm glad I didn't fall."

A few moments later, he threw down the gauntlet to his younger opponent.

"Tomorrow is a new day," he said. "I'm confident with my long program, I've had a great season with it, and I know how to pace it.

"Olympics is not the place that is supposed to be easy. I like being in second, like being in the chase. Now I can go out and enjoy my program. Yuzu has a bit of a target [on his back] he's not used to having. We'll see how he handles it."

The irony of eight-time Canadian champion Orser coaching the man who could extend the Canadian curse was not lost on Chan, who grew up skating at the Cricket Club under legendary Canadian coach Osborne Colson.

"I'm striving for something [Orser] didn't achieve, and he's working against me in a way, but it's all fun," Chan said. "In the end, figure skating is an individual sport. You're not thinking about besting each other. It's about pushing your own limits, doing the best you can do. At the end of the day, you're battling yourself and kind of your inner demons."

The rest of the field lagged behind the top two skaters by more than 10 points. Skaters in the third through sixth positions lie within a point of one another, with another group of six close behind.

Javier Fernández, Spain's two-time European champion, turned out of his opening quadruple Salchow and the second jump of a triple Lutz-triple toe combination. His 86.98 points put him third heading into the free.

"I wasn't feeling great, but I still fought for everything I have in my program," Fernández, 22, said. "These guys (Hanyu and Chan) are points ahead, but it's really tight behind me, so tomorrow I have to have my mind on skating and try to be a little bit more focused on skating and what I have to do."

Orser, who also coaches Fernández, said he would have a long talk with his skater.

"He didn't have that fire in his belly," Orser said. "He was nervous. He didn't come out of the gate strong enough."

Like Hanyu and Chan, Fernández is attempting to make history in Sochi. His would be only the third Winter Olympic medal won by Spain and the first ever in figure skating.

Daisuke Takahashi fought through a right knee injury to earn 86.40 points for fourth place. Japan's 2010 Olympic bronze medalist had his quad toe downgraded by the technical panel.

In a surprise, German champion Peter Liebers had the skate of his life, including a strong quad toe-triple toe combination, to place fifth with a personal-best 86.04 points.

He doesn't have a quad, but U.S. silver medalist Jason Brown finds himself in the final warm-up group (top six) and within striking distance of a medal after a sensational outing of his short to Prince's "The Question of U."

The 19-year-old Brown hit all of his jumps -- including a triple Axel and a 'Tano triple Lutz in the second half of the program -- to perfect beats of his music. His memorable step sequence was punctuated by twizzles, kicks and leaps, and his three spins rated Levels 3 and 4. Judges awarded Brown with 86.0 points, a new personal best.

"Each time I've gone out and performed this program, it's gotten better," the ebullient skater said. "Every time I step out on to the ice, I feel I get stronger."

"It's even better in practice," Brown's coach, Kori Ade, said. "I've seen him a little looser, faster, less conservative. But then again, under Olympic pressure, you're supposed to be a bit conservative if you want to medal."

For Jeremy Abbott, it was a far less successful night. After a disappointing team short program, the four-time U.S. champion moved to a hotel and streamlined his daily activities in an effort to prepare better mentally for competition.

It all came to a crashing halt, though, on his first jump, a quad toe loop. The 28-year-old did not get enough height on the move, came down far too early, fell head first and then slid into the boards, which fortunately were padded for an earlier short track competition.

After lying on the ice for about 15 seconds, Abbott finished the program, fighting for the landings of a triple Lutz-triple toe and triple Axel, and gaining Level 4's on two of his spins and his step sequence. He earned 72.58 points and sits 15th, the same placement he had after his short program at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where he finished ninth overall.

"It was quite painful," Abbott said, clutching an ice bag to his left hip. "I still have quite a bit of adrenaline going, but I'm sure I'm going to have a big lump on my hip tomorrow."

Abbott credited the Sochi crowd with helping to give him the strength to continue. As he lay on the ice, he considered going to referee Mona Jonsson to ask for a two-minute injury timeout.

"The second I stood up, the whole audience screamed for me," he said. "I thought, 'Forget it, I'm going to finish this program.'"


Japanese figure skater all arms, legs and achievement
Brian Orser meshes talent and spirit in orchestrating young Yuzuru Hanyu's future
February 13, 2014| By Philip Hersh, Tribune Olympic Bureau

SOCHI, Russia — At first, the way Yuzuru Hanyu skated was just wild abandon.

Hanyu was a gangly teen, a seeming octopus of loose limbs whose goal was to be 10 feet off the ice, no matter how he got there, no matter that getting down without a splat often perplexed him.

That is what Brian Orser saw when he began coaching Hanyu, then 17, in the spring of 2012.

"When I first got him, it looked like he had 16 arms and legs," Orser said. "But there was a certain spirit I liked about him, even if it was a little bit out of control. I needed to get him a little more guided but not take away the spirit."

It was a spirit that would not be crushed March 11, 2011, when Hanyu experienced firsthand the earthquake that devastated Japan.

And it was a spirit on exuberant display Thursday night at the Iceberg Skating Palace when Hanyu became the first man to score more than 100 points in a short program. With 101.45, he takes a lead of 3.93 over three-time world champion Patrick Chan into Friday's free skate final.

"I was really nervous today," Hanyu said. "I will continue to be nervous until the end of the Olympics."

That cannot approach the anxiety he felt nearly three years ago.

He was training at his home rink in Sendai, about 80 miles from the earthquake's epicenter, when everything began to shake. Hanyu ran in his skates from the building, which was flooded by bursting pipes.

His house also was damaged, forcing Hanyu and his family to an evacuation center in a gymnasium. After three days, they were able to return at their own risk, but he had no place to train.

Hanyu and his club moved around Japan for four months until the Sendai rink reopened. He stayed there through the following season, which ended with his bronze medal at the 2012 world championships.

The Japanese Skating Federation decided Hanyu needed more polish to progress further, and it asked Orser if he wanted to help apply it. Hanyu soon moved with his mother to Toronto to work with Orser, the two-time Canadian Olympic silver medalist who had coached Yuna Kim of South Korea to the 2010 Olympic women's title.

"Yuzu was a bit of a puppy," said Tracy Wilson, the Olympic ice dance bronze medalist who helps coach Hanyu. "His jumps were spectacular, his falls sensational. You can only carry that on for so long."

When Japanese officials approached Orser, he already was coaching another foreign star, Javier Fernandez, who would become Spain's first world medalist and was third in Thursday's short program, more than 10 points behind Chan. The coach said he asked for Fernandez's approval before agreeing to coach Hanyu.

"Yuzu is a very disciplined athlete, and Javi has inspired him to get more focused and more consistent," Orser said.

Hanyu continues to have ups and downs, but his arc has been ascendant this season. In December's Grand Prix final, he got the previous record short-program score, 99.84, and went on to beat Chan.

"That was the turning point," Wilson said.


As Evgeni Plushenko Bows Out, Yuzuru Hanyu Soars to a Figure Skating Record
NY Times By JERÉ LONGMANFEB. 13, 2014

SOCHI, Russia — As Evgeni Plushenko warmed up Thursday night, he stumbled where a few days ago he had been so sturdy and charismatic. After he withdrew from the men’s short program before a stunned home crowd, and later retired, calamity seemed to spread as if it were contagious, like the flu.

Jeremy Abbott, a four-time American champion, soon crashed on a four-revolution jump and lay on the ice, holding his side for what seemed to be 10 seconds. Then he got to his feet and continued, urged on by the crowd and the anesthesia of adrenaline.

It was left to a teenager, Yuzuru Hanyu, 19, to remain composed and to jump with abandon in setting a world record of 101.45 points, positioning himself on Friday to become the first Japanese man to win a gold medal in figure skating.

Just three years ago, Hanyu was training in his hometown, Sendai, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck nearby in March 2011, sending him running from the rink in his skates.

“I’m over the moon,” said Hanyu, the first skater to break 100 points in a short program, though he, too, felt the nervousness of the evening.

“My legs were shaking,” he said. “I was certainly feeling the atmosphere of the Olympics. But it’s still like any other competition, and I tried not to forget that.”


Hanyu said he was disappointed not to find Plushenko, his idol, in first place on the scoreboard so he could have challenged him one final time.

“I took up skating because of him,” Hanyu said. “I respect and admire him dearly. It’s just sad.”

Giant Jumps

FS jumps analysis - Men



Yuzuru Hanyu sets world record in figure skating
The first score of 100+ was set in Sochi on Thursday.
SB Nation by James Dator Feb 13, 2014, 1:17pm EST

Crowds in Sochi were disappointed by the withdrawal of hometown hero Evgeni Plushenko, but they were rewarded on the ice Thursday by witnessing a world record from 19-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu.

Hanyu is widely seen as the next great skater to assume Plushenko's mantle, and his score of 101.45 was appropriate on the final afternoon of competition for the great Russian skater. It was the first time a male figure skater has eclipsed 100 points in the short program and broke Patrick Chan's previous mark of 98.52, set at the Trophee Eric Bompard in November of 2013.

The young Japanese skater was appropriately shocked and overjoyed by receiving such a high score.

The score puts Hanyu in prime position to win the gold medal on an afternoon when numerous skaters struggled on the ice. Falls had been the tale of the short program leading up to Hanyu's performance, but the young skater proved it was a problem with the competition, not the ice.

Hanyu wins short program, Plushenko retires
The Associated Press - BARRY WILNER (AP Sports Writer)
Feb 13, 2014, 3:53 PM

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu made figure skating history, and now can chase even more of it.

He'll do so without having to fend off a challenge from another record-setter, Russia's Evgeni Plushenko.

Hanyu became the first figure skater to break the 100-point mark with a spectacular performance in the men's short program on Thursday night at the Sochi Games. He earned 101.45 points with a playful, almost seductive routine in which he seemed to flow above the ice.

''I was so surprised with my score,'' Hanyu said. ''I didn't know I got over 100.''

He shouldn't have been, considering the speed, sharpness, entertainment value and total conviction of his skating. He nailed his two biggest jumps, including a huge a quadruple toe loop to open the program, and his triple lutz-triple toe combination was exquisite.

And then the fun began.

He charmed the judges with his facial expressions, staring directly at them with an inviting smile during his intricate steps and turns to ''Parisian Walkaways.''

''For Yuzuru, that was perfection,'' said his coach, Brian Orser. ''That's as good as it gets.''

Hanyu, 19, also won the men's short program in the team event and is on quite a run with wins in the Grand Prix Final, Japanese championships and his Sochi achievements.

''I always had pressure. I think I can have confidence after those competitions,'' he said.

While Hanyu was soaring to a nearly 4-point lead over three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, Plushenko finished his stellar career with another injury.

The only figure skater in the modern era to win medals in four games, including gold in the new team event last weekend, Plushenko hurt his back in training Wednesday. He gave it a go in warmups before Thursday's short program, but after falling on a triple axel, he knew he was done.

''I said to myself, 'Evgeni, you must skate. It's two more days, short and long program,''' the 31-year-old and 2006 Olympic gold medalist said.

But he could not.

''I think it's God saying, 'Evgeni, enough, enough with skating,''' added Plushenko, who said he's had 12 surgeries.

No man from an Asian nation or Canada has even won Olympic gold in figure skating. Chan, who was fifth in Vancouver, put on his best Olympic routine to stay within sight of Hanyu.

''Four points in singles men's is not much,'' Chan said. ''I like being in second. I like being in the chase. It's exciting to me.''

Javier Fernandez of Spain, a country that's never won an Olympic figure skating medal, was third with 86.98.

Hanyu and Fernandez are coached by Orser, who guided South Korea's Yuna Kim to women's gold in Vancouver. Because they skated consecutively, Orser had to scramble to change from a gray blazer to a Spain team jacket, but first he sprinted over to congratulate his Japanese student.

American Jason Brown put on the performance his young skating career to finish sixth. He's within the width of a skate blade of third heading into Friday's free skate.

''All year in this program, in every competition I have gone to, I have gotten a personal best,'' the 19-year-old Brown said. ''I didn't want to stop in the Olympics.''

Brown will be the final skater Friday night. Fernandez leads off the last group of six, with Takahashi second, Hanyu third and Chan fourth. Peter Liebers of Germany is the other skater in the final group.

The night began with wild swings, from Plushenko falling in warmups to U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott crashing. Abbott stayed down for a lengthy period after his fall, and just when coach Yuka Sato was about to open the entry door to help him, he struggled to his feet and continued his program.

The four-time U.S. champ nailed every subsequent element to wind up 15th.

''I'm not in the least bit ashamed,'' Abbott said. ''I stood up and I finished that program and I'm proud of my effort and I'm proud of what I did under the circumstance.''

AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen and freelancer Marie Millikan contributed to this story.
2014.02.13 - Sochi SP (Paul Gilham-Getty)


How Yuzuru Hanyu Destroyed the Olympic Men's Figure Skating Competition, in GIFs
The atlantic Alexander Abad-Santos Feb 14, 2014


Barring some disaster in which Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Canada's Patrick Chan forget how to skate, the gold medal will come down these two men. Here's how they absolutely demolished the rest of the men's field, in GIFs.

Barring some disaster in which Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Canada's Patrick Chan forget how to skate, the gold medal will come down these two men. After a chaotic day that saw Russian star Evegeni Plushenko withdraw from competition and end his career, U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott take a nasty spill, and a lot of skaters displaying chippy performances, Hanyu set a world record by getting 101.7 points in his short program. Chan, a three-time world champion, followed Hanyu's beautiful performance with one of his own, and scored 97.52 points. The next closest skater was Spain's Javier Fernandez at 86.98 points — around 11 points or one squeaky clean triple axel behind.

Here's how they demolished the competition, and how they matched up head to head:

Hanyu's Triple Lutz-Triple Toe vs. Chan's Quad Toe Loop-Triple Toe

The underlying premise of figure skating is to do your jumps as clean as possible. Each jump has a base value which varies based on its difficulty, and judges can award people depending on how well or how poorly someone does that jump. They can add points to or deduct points from that value. That's called a "Grade of Execution" or a GOE and those are capped at +3 and -3 points.

Combinations is where Chan had the edge. Chan's jump combination is more difficult than Hanyu's, meaning that if both skaters skated to the best of their ability, Chan's would be worth more points. That came to fruition on Thursday:


Chan was given a +2 GOE, meaning judges believe his jump was very close to perfect. Hanyu's combination was easier (ergo a lower base value) and judges only awarded him a +1.5 GOE.


Based on those combinations, Chan had around a 4-point advantage. But there's more than one jump in a program.

Hanyu's Triple Axel vs. Chan's Triple Axel

So how does a 4-point disadvantage turn into a 4-point advantage? Let's start with Hanyu's near-perfect triple axel, which came at the halfway point of his short program:


Because it came in the second half of his program, it starts off at a 10 percent higher base value — 9.35 vs. 8.50 (because of fatigue, jumps in the second half are given higher values). And judges awarded him a +2.14 GOE, meaning they really loved this triple axel. And what's not to love? He covered a lot of ice, it looked effortless, and his landing looked like it could be done in his sleep. Chan's wasn't as pretty:


Chan's axel came in the first half of his program, meaning he was starting at the 8.50 base value. He also stumbled on that landing, and was penalized. And just like that, Chan more than made up for his less difficult combination pass with nearly a 4-point advantage.

Hanyu's Quad Toe vs. Chan's Triple Lutz

This is where their strategy differs. If you recall, we saw Chan incorporate his quadruple jump into his combination to rack up points. Hanyu actually performs his quadruple jump by itself. And on Wednesday he did it as close to perfect as he could:


Chan does a triple lutz as his solo jump. It has a lower base value than Hanyu's quad toe, and though the judges liked his execution, they did not award it with as many GOE points as they did Hanyu's.


Chan made up some points here and there with his spins, but he still came out trailing Hanyu by around 4 points going into the free skate. Chan catching him wouldn't be unheard of — you can see how a few GOE points here and there could sway the competition— but it would take a mistake, like Chan's triple axel for it to happen. And Hanyu kinda knows this:

Hanyu's reaction to his record-setting score.

After Chan, there's no one within 14 points of Hanyu, meaning gold is more or less a two-man race. The race for bronze is a lot tighter with eight skaters within 4 points of Spain's Javier Fernandez, who maintains a .58 lead over Japan's Daisuke Takahashi for third place. In that mix are newcomers like the charismatic Jason Brown, and veteran skater Brian Joubert:

Hanyu and Chan have finished their free skates. Despite a flawed performance, Hanyu won gold with a combined score of 280.09. Chan, who also stumbled during multiple jumps, won silver with 275.62 points. And Kazakhstan's Dennis Ten made a jump from ninth to third (and the bronze medal) with 255.10 points. American Jason Brown finished in the top ten at ninth, with 238.87 points.


Hanyu delivers historic performance
ESPN Jim Caple ESPN Senior Writer Feb 13, 2014

SOCHI, Russia -- Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu not only skated, he stayed on his feet. Beautifully so. Historically so.

On a chaotic night at the men's short program in which Evgeni Plushenko withdrew just before his routine and Jeremy Abbott fell on his face and into the boards, Hanyu set a record with the highest score ever in a men's short program, breaking the century mark for the first time with 101.45 points.

"I'm over the moon,'' Hanyu said. "I took it one element at a time. ... I wasn't trying to clear 100 points. I was just trying to turn in the best performance I possibly could -- and I did.''

World champion Patrick Chan of Canada is in second place with 97.52 and Spain's Javier Fernandez is third with 86.98.

"I like being in second. I like being in the chase,'' said Chan, who was a little wobbly on a triple axel. "It's exciting for me. Now I can go out and enjoy the program, whereas Yuzuru has a bit of a target on his back that he's not quite used to. At the Olympics the target is kind of doubled in size. We'll see how he handles it.''

Hanyu has handled the pressure so far. He opened with a quad toe and later landed a triple lutz-triple toe combination to take the short program for the second time here. He also won it in the team competition last week. Which isn't bad for a 19-year-old.

"He's grown tremendously,'' Chan said. "I remember when I saw him at Cup of Russia two seasons ago. He was young and very inexperienced. He's gained so much experience in just two years. He looks really comfortable out there.

"But like I said, tomorrow is the long program and the long program can change a lot of things. Neither of us has done it in front of these judges, only in practice. Tomorrow is proof of who is really trained and comfortable with his program.''

Abbott, the U.S. national champion, finished 15th due to his horrible fall on his opening quad, but 19-year-old American Jason Brown was on top of his game. Despite not having a quad in his routine, he is in sixth place with 86 points, just 0.98 points out of third. He was gushing with enthusiasm as usual afterward.

"The quad is usually a point getter, of course,'' he said. "Because I don't do one I have to do everything else well and get as many points as possible with the elements I do."

Despite Hanyu's performance, the night was overshadowed by Plushenko's withdrawal from what he said is his final amateur competition.

"I don't know all the details, but I was disappointed not to see him in first place when I took the ice,'' Hanyu said. "I took up skating because of him. I respect him and admire him dearly. It's just sad. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to skate against him in the team event.''


Hanyu sets new world record in men’s short programme as Plushenko bows out
olympic.org 13 Feb 2014

Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu gave a virtuoso display to set a new world record score of 101.45 for the short programme in the men’s figure skating at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Skating to "Parisian Walkways" by Gary Moore the 19-year old served up a quad toeloop, triple axel and triple lutz-triple toeloop combination, in a routine that left him 3.93-points ahead of three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada.

There was disappointment, however, for Evgeni Plushenko, who was forced to withdraw after the warm-up due to back problems. The two-time Olympic gold medallist then announced that he was retiring from the rink.

“This is not the finish that I wanted. But I leave with a gold medal, that is also great," the 31-year-old, who had helped Russia claim the team title several days earlier, winning his fourth Olympic medal in the process.

In Plushenko’s absence, the main focus was on Hanyu and Chan. The Japanese youngster coped with the spotlight brilliantly, bettering his own previous world record, set on his way to victory over Chan in the Grand Prix final, by 1.61 points.

“I wasn't trying to clear 100 points. I was just trying to turn in the best performance I possibly could -- and I did," said Hanyu. “I was very, very surprised by the score.”

Chan meanwhile scored 97.52 after he under rotated his triple axel jump in his performance to Rachmaninov's “Elegie in E Flat”.

He also paid a heartfelt tribute to Plushenko: “I was disappointed not to see him in first place when I took the ice,” admitted the Japanese star.

“I took up skating because of him. I respect him and admire him dearly. It's just sad. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to skate against him in the team event.”

Chan said he was happy going into the following day’s free skating final in second place.

“I like being in second. I like the chase," said the 23-year-old Canadian. “I can enjoy the Olympics during the free skate while Hanyu has a target on his back. At the Olympics, that target is bigger.

“I’ve made up four points before in the long programme. I’ve done it before and I have a plan.”

World bronze medallist Javier Fernandez of Spain, who trains with Hanyu under the guidance of coach Brian Orser, currently lies in third on 86.98 points, after producing an entertaining routine to “Satan Takes a Holiday".

“It wasn't my day, I was stumbling a lot,” said Fernandez. “But I'm still in the game so the only thing you can do is fight until the end.”

Remarkably, all three of the top three skaters going into the final programme are bidding to give their countries a first ever Olympic men's figure skating gold.