The 19-year-old Japanese star Yuzuru Hanyu has become the youngest skater for 66 years to take gold in the men’s figure skating, despite falling twice in his final performance.
After becoming the first skater to surpass the 100-point mark in the short programme on Thursday, Hanyu went into the free skate on Friday in the top spot.
Hanyu made the rotation for the quad in the opening seconds, but slipped on the landing and lost his footing badly. After another fall on a triple flip, Hanyu finished crouched on the ice, his head bowed, certain he had lost the gold.
The judges awarded him 178.64 points – a good score, but one that left him vulnerable to three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada. But Chan, up next, fared worse, and made three errors. Hanyu’s combined score of 280.09 was enough give him the gold.
World silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan took the bronze. Hanyu is the Asian to take Olympic gold in the men’s figure staking.