Hanyu defends Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating

Nathan Chen of the United States reacts following his performance during the men's free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) Move over Dick Button, you have company atop the Olympic men’s figure skating pantheon: Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu.

Hanyu became the first man to successfully defend his Olympic title since Button in 1952. He held off countryman Shoma Uno and Spain’s Javier Fernandez in Saturday’s free skate.

Fernandez shares the same coach, Brian Orser, with Hanyu. Orser rushed to greet Hanyu as he left the ice after his strong but slightly flawed performance. Then Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, rushed to behind the sideboards to help encourage Fernandez during his skate.

Fernandez couldn’t match Hanyu, and Uno finished the day by moving up from third to second overall, loading a high-scoring quad and three triples into the final minute of his routine.

American Nathan Chen surged from a fiasco of a short program, when he was 17th, by winning the free skate to wind up fifth overall.

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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