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Yuzuru Hanyu to attempt historic quad axel in upcoming faceoff with gold medal frontrunner Nathan Chen

  • Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu and Team USA’s Nathan Chen are preparing to face off with their long-awaited free skate routines during the long program competition tomorrow.

  • Hanyu fumbled his quadruple Salchow in the men’s short program, which he blamed on a hole in the ice. He is preparing to attempt a quadruple axel, the most challenging jump in figure skating, in the long program competition.

  • Hanyu is currently a trending topic on Weibo, with many Chinese fans sending their love and support for the figure skater.

  • Chen, on the other hand, is already in the top position and one step closer to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

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Japanese “Ice Prince” Yuzuru Hanyu and the Olympic men’s short program winner Nathan Chen are preparing their routines for their most anticipated free skate event tomorrow. 

While 22-year-old Chen recently shattered Hanyu’s world record with a score of 113.97 in the men’s short program, Hanyu, 27, is gearing up for a quadruple axel attempt in the free skate program to make up for his slip-up in the short program. 

Hanyu had previously attempted a quadruple Salchow to kick off his performance on Tuesday; however, a hole in the ice impeded his takeoff, which left him in eighth place with a score of 95.15.

“When I took off, I [stepped] in some hole — maybe, some other skater was doing a toe loop, or a flip, I don’t know,” Hanyu told reporters, according to Insider. “But I was on a hole, so I couldn’t take off for the first jump.”

According to NBC Sports, the quadruple axel, or 4A, is “the only jump in which skaters take off from a forward outside edge.” It involves four-and-a-half rotations in the air “before landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot from which they took off.”

Given the two-time reigning gold medalist needs a pretty impressive performance to make up for his previous event, the attempt to make a jump that has never been landed in the competition might be enough to help Hanyu recover his high rank and make him a legend. 

The Japanese skater is currently trending on Weibo, with many Chinese fans sending their love and support, according to The Wall Street Journal.

On the other hand, Team USA’s Chen has already landed in the top position following his short routine and is one step closer to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. 

Check out Hanyu and Chen’s routine practices for the upcoming free skate event.

Featured Images via NBC Sports (left, right)

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