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Hanyu at dominant best in taking Helsinki title

The Associated Press

Yuzuru Hanyu reacts to the crowd’s ovation after his free skating routine at the ISU Grand Prix event in Helsinki on Sunday.

The Associated Press HELSINKI (AP) — Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu started his Grand Prix season with a commanding victory by almost 40 points at the Helsinki round on Sunday.

With a 13-point lead from Saturday’s short program, the Japanese skater scored 190.43 points in the free skate to win with a total score of 297.12.

Hanyu executed four quadruple jumps including a quad toeloop-triple axel combination, though with some less-than-perfect landings, to an ecstatic reception from the crowd.

Hanyu’s short program, free skate and total scores are the highest in the Grand Prix series so far this year.

Veteran Czech skater Michal Brezina was second with 257.98 points for his second Grand Prix silver of 2018.

That will almost certainly be enough for Brezina to qualify for the Grand Prix Final for the first time in seven years, depending on the results of later Grand Prix events.

South Korea’s Cha Junhwan earned a second bronze this year with 243.19, continuing a breakout season for the 17-year-old South Korean, who placed 15th on home ice at the Olympics in February, one place ahead of Brezina.

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