Shoma Uno completes ISU Grand Prix double
Shoma Uno booked his place in next month's ISU Grand Prix Final with a comfortable victory in the NHK Trophy.
In front of an adoring home crowd in Hiroshima, the Olympic silver medallist scored 183.96 on his free skate having led narrowly from Sergei Voronov after the short program.
While that was a bit below his effort in winning Skate Canada, it was still 20 points clear of the Russian and good enough for his second Grand Prix triumph out of the two this season.
Uno's total of 276.45 was just 0.8 shy of his Quebec tally.
Uno's combination regret
Uno's free skate to Beethoven's 'Midnight Sonata' contained four quad jumps although he under-rotated on a quad flip and put a hand down on the second of his two quad toe loops.
He also put a hand down on triple Salchow, but there was no fall as in Friday's short program where he was below his best.
"I am happy to have won. However, there were mistakes in both the short and free program." - Shoma Uno talking to ISU
Uno said afterwards, "The second quad toe and the (triple) Salchow were meant to be combinations. So I had only one combination and I regret that. But I didn’t lose it emotionally and was aggressive."
Like fellow Japanese Rika Kihira in the ladies' competition, the difficulty of Uno's jumps gave him a huge advantage on his rivals.
The 20-year-old's technical element score (TES) was 94.18 against Voronov's 80.55, and his execution marks were also the highest in the field.
Shoma Uno (JPN) - Silver Medal | Men's Free Skating
Shoma Uno (JPN) - Silver Medal | Men's Free SkatingThe men's free skating competition took place at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Saturday 17 February 2018.
Voronov sits and waits
Sergei Voronov faces an anxious wait to see if he returns to the Grand Prix Final.
The 31-year-old veteran stepped up markedly on his third place at Skate America, scoring a total of 254.28 to take second place.
Voronov won last year's NHK Trophy ahead of finishing fourth at the 2017 Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
His only other previous Grand Prix Final appearance came in 2014, taking the bronze medal in Barcelona.
Just six men will skate in Vancouver in four weeks' time with Uno joining Czech skater Michal Brezina in the lineup.
Matteo Rizzo earned Italy's first men's Grand Prix podium finish in third on 224.71, just ahead of American Vincent Zhou.