Yuzuru Hanyu has set another world record at the recently concluded World Figure Skating Championships and he’s not done. Did he just attempt another quad axel at the Worlds exhibition gala?
Yuzuru Hanyu is, no doubt, one monster of a history maker. The 2014 Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (2014, 2017), a four-time Grand Prix Final champion (2013–2016), and a three-time Four Continents silver medalist (2011, 2013, 2017), Hanyu has broken world records eleven times. At the moment, he holds the highest short program, free skating, and combined total scores.
In fact, just this weekend at the World Figure Skating Championships, he has yet again beaten his previous free skate world record and emerged with a world-record free skate score of 223.30 points, snagging the gold medal with a total of 321.59, LA Times reports.
Yuzuru Hanyu’s gold-winning performance was quite a bounce back from this short program, which placed him at fifth place. Going forward, Hanyu is not the least bit complacent:
“After the short program, I was quite depressed. I was so deeply depressed. But the fans and the team believed in me.
“I still feel it’s very difficult to put out two clean programs. Toward the Olympic season, it’s important to skate clean both in the short and the free, these two programs together.”
Yuzuru Hanyu’s discipline and unwavering determination has led to him breaking records and making figure skating history, countless of times. He has made a lot of firsts in the sport, being the first man to have broken the 100-point barrier in the men’s short program, the 200-point barrier in the men’s free skating, and the 300-point barrier in the combined total score. He was also the first Asian and the youngest man to win the Olympic title since Dick Button in 1948. Yuzuru Hanyu also put his name in figure skating books as the first skater in history to ever land a quadruple loop in competition, CBCreported at the 2016 CS Autumn Classic International.
But it looks like Yuzuru is looking to add another credential in his already long list. Quads or quadruple jumps are figure skating jumps with no less than four revolutions in the air. After the first ratified quadruple jump by Kurt Browning in 1988, every jump style has already been landed in competition but one—the legendary quad axel (4A).
A quadruple axel is legendary for a reason. Unlike other quad jumps which require exactly four revolutions, a quad axel requires four and a half revolutions. This has made it the hardest jump to land for all skaters, and no one has attempted to execute the jump in competition.
But Yuzuru Hanyu is Yuzuru Hanyu. And he lives for these challenges. Yuzu Hanyu is known for his beautiful and clean triple axels (3A), and could practically jump and land one from a stand still. Figure skating enthusiasts over at the Golden Skate forums are crying out that attempting a 4A is begging for an injury.
But did you know that Yuzuru Hanyu already attempted a quad axel once on a public performance? Yuzuru attempted to jump a quad axel at the Dream on Ice finale back in 2015, and he actually got 4.5 rotations—although he didn’t quite land it. Hanyu attempted the 4A at the video below at 0:40.
This has sparked more rumors that Yuzuru Hanyu might be shaping up for a quad axel in competition someday. In fact, Coach Tom Z has caught Hanyu saying on a quote:
“I’ll train it [4A], and, if possible, I’ll include it in competition.”
Fast forward to 2017 at the World exhibition gala, where figure skating fans are getting crazy over what looks like Hanyu’s failed attempt at another quad axel. Fans are turning to Twitter to gush about the exhibition gala finale, where Hanyu looks like he’s tried to jump another quad axel and fell.
@Edheliel maybe I’m going crazy or the video is too shitty but I thinK YUZURU TRIED THE 4A AT THE END OF THE GALA I’M SCREAMING OUTTA MY ASS
— Bea???? (@misshallelujah) April 2, 2017
HOLY COW IT DOES LOOK LIKE A 4A!!!
NO WONDER WHY HE COULDN’T LAND IT
USUALLY YUZU AND 3As GO WELL TOGETHER
THIS GETS ME SO EXCITED
— p???? (@p_yuzuru) April 2, 2017
fs//……..do you mean to tell me that yuzuru tried a 4A in the quad battle DO YOU
— 流星レッド、参上っ！ (@ryuuseitaii) April 2, 2017
OMG Fuji showed that Yuzuru tried the 4A at the end of the gala o_0
— Polymniaクープ・ド・プランタンへ (@polymnia_skate) April 2, 2017
OH MY GOD YUZURU ALMOST DID A QUAD AXEL?!
— Hani of HYUNGSIK (@haniepple) April 2, 2017
Judging if it was a quad axel or a triple axel from the video is quite hard, with Hanyu spinning like crazy before falling. To clear the issue of Hanyu attempting another quad axel, Japanese reporters asked Hanyu himself if he did another jab at the legendary 4A jump.
An English translation of the interview snippet below, however, reveals that what Hanyu tried was a triple axel revenge, after failing to land both his 3A at his exhibition performance.
Reporter: We got information that you attempted a 4A.
Hanyu: I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t.
Reporter: so what you did was actually a 3A?
Hanyu : I wanted to redo (revenge) my 3A. I thought, “I want a land a beautiful 3A”, but unfortunately, I didn’t.
Reporter: Uno-senshu, you attempted 4Lz didn’t you?
Shoma: (hesitates, and guiltily) yes…it was my first time executing it. I was just playing around, so please don’t think much of it.
So the case is finally closed and no, Yuzuru Hanyu did not attempt a 4A at the exhibition gala. He might attempt it again in the future, however, and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for this history maker. Because if there’s anyone that’s closest to landing that legendary quadruple axel, it must be Yuzuru Hanyu.