Takahashi takes first place in Grand Prix Final
Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won men’s competitions at the Grand Prix Final in Sochi. His teammate Yuzuru Hanyu took the silver medal. Canadian Patrick Chan finished third.
Overnight leader Daisuke Takahashi put in an error-strewn free program including a fall on his first quad attempt, but landed a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination to steady the ship. He recovered to set a season best score of 269.40 and win the finals for the first time after four previous podium finishes.
Patrick Chan finished 10.74 points behind Takahashi in only his second defeat in ISU competition in the last two years, after coming second at Skate Canada in October. Chan fell on a quad as he slipped from second to third in a uncharacteristically untidy 169.39-point free skate from the man who went unbeaten last season.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu belied his reputation as a short program specialist to beat his free skate season best by 12 points and leapfrog Chan for second place, landing two quads in the process. Hanyu finished 4.11 points adrift of Takahashi after performing to Notre Dame de Paris by Cocciante.
Javier Fernandez was the only man to have beaten Chan this season and was also the only skater to aim for an ambitious three quads in his free skate, and he was rewarded with a rise up the standings from fifth to fourth.
The Spaniard took the day’s best points haul of 178.48 and a score of 258.62 overall.
Takahiko Kozuka had been fourth after the short program but dropped out of contention for a podium after a poor start to his free skate and finished fifth.
Kozuka fell on the second of his quads before a messy landing on the next element, a triple axel, but recovered well to post a season’s best score of 166.88 for a total of 253.27.
Tatsuki Machida was far behind the rest after two erratic skates. His free routine failed to catch light despite being set to Russian favorite Stravinski’s Firebird, leaving him on a total of 154.17.