This is Part 3 of 3 of an article from Wasedasports.com published on 24 December 2019 which is a collection of excerpts from different interviews that Yuzuru Hanyu gave after the Japanese Nationals. Part 3 is an excerpt from the press conference after announcing the Japanese representatives who will be participating in the Four Continents Championship and the World Championship. Read Part 1 and Part 2.
First of all, since I was chosen for the World Championship, it may take time to decide how much I can do from now on, and there are things that will take time and things that does not take much time , and I want to properly build on both of those and return to my strongest self for Worlds and fight.
First of all , I applied to participate in the Four Continents because I want to tackle that competition with all my might. Of course I have a strong desire to get the title and am aiming for it, but somehow I feel that as a step, participating in Four Continents might help me grow, so I submitted the request. And it’s the same for this competition as well, I experience various things through the competitions and I think I can once again absorb many experiences and become stronger from them. Also I think it would be good if I could do simulations and other competitions, and truly think about and do various things, not only just Four Continents and the World Championships. Four Continents is one of my walls. I might compete with Nathan there, but for now, there is a wall called “Shoma”, whom I lost to, so I want to prepare myself and fight fully in my best condition.
By going to the Four Continents, I would like to make it a step towards learning it. Well I don’t have to say what “it” (4A) is, you understand. I really need an absolutely strong weapon now. Of course, there’s only about one point difference with the 4Lz, so is it worth it, or is it worth doing, or is it better to do the 4Lz twice? I’ve actually considered that. But this pertains to my personal pride, after all. It is a core (desire) which supports my skating now, so I definitely want to do it. With that in mind, I thought about my approach to the Four Continents, thinking of Four Continents as a place to see how much I have been able to progress, and submitted my request to participate this time.
About the jumps that were not included in the layout in this competition, what are your thoughts about doing them in future competitions?
First of all, about the SP, the first half of the program is not set in stone, I’d like to think about how to adjust the music and how to jump in the best way to achieve the best rate of success and beauty and figure out how to jump so that it is blended in with the program. I don’t intend to do this layout for the FS at all, so I have to think about what I should prioritise from now on. If I prioritise jumping the 4Lz, I think it will certainly be more stable if I jump it as the first jump. So should I do that? Or if I really want to jump the 4A and get to the level that I can put that in the program, what should I do after the 4A? If I do the Lutz after the Axel, it would definitely be a big burden, so I have to think about those things one by one. However, I think the meaning of putting 4A in is to increase the types of quad jumps, so if I can’t make good use of it, I don’t think it’s worth doing it, and I also feel that I have to build a strong foundation in order to achieve that.
This is Part 2 of 3 of an article from Wasedasports.com published on 24 December 2019 which is a collection of excerpts from different interviews that Yuzuru Hanyu gave after the Japanese Nationals. Part 2 is an excerpt from the medalists interview. Read Part 1 here. Part 3 to come soon.
Thank you. Up to this point, there were moments when I could fight with all my might in the Japanese Nationals, and I was able to perform while becoming very passionate. Also throwing the gifts on the ice was banned at this competition. My fans have been throwing many Pooh-sans on the ice, but everyone was trying to follow the rules and even reminded the others that throwing gifts is prohibited. I think there are many things to take note of among fans. Everyone was really trying to follow every single one of them, and in this way, this competition became a wonderful one until the end and it makes me very happy. Thank you so much.
First of all, I wasn’t really watching by his side, but watching him on TV, I saw him not being able to participate with the physical condition which he wanted to be in, I myself also faced a situation with no coach at the GPF so I could really understand how difficult it is. For him [Shoma] to decide to part from his coach and aim to get a ticket to the Grand Prix Final in those circumstances, I think it was a very courageous thing to do. I am truly, honestly very happy that he found his way and is able to skate in his own way again. My path and his are over all…hmmm, it’s strange that I call him “He”, he calls me “Yuzu-kun” so I talk about him as “Shoma” (laughs) For Shoma, enjoying skating and of course, the time being away from it are both important. I think if I did the same thing, everything would probably come crumbling down. Because even when I am enjoying something else, I can’t help thinking that I should enjoy this moment now for the sake of skating later. But I really think it’s great that Shoma came back as who he is, I am really thinking that that’s why he could become a silver Olympic medalist. Shoma said earlier that he worked hard and got a result that was better than he expected but Shoma is stronger than he thinks. Maybe he has weaknesses as well but that’s a part of Shoma too and I think that is Shoma’s strength. I have a lot to learn from him, also I have some difficult things I’m facing myself right now, but I’d say this is not my limit, and push myself.
There is nothing good. I just tried my best. Nothing more. I used my brain too. I was thinking about what I could do to add more triples after the popped Lutz, and where I could get a higher score, but there was only so much I could do. But I still hung on and tried everything that I could. But only trying and not being able to make it happen is after all a negative thing.There were only bad things in that performance. (laughs) What can I say, should I list all of the bad points? (laughs) I’ll probably speak for 30 minutes about it. Well, what was bad was.. Well, I think I couldn’t control my mind and body at the same time. That was the most difficult thing this time. I might have been overwhelmed, but it’s still something to reflect upon. And about the result, I ended up in 2nd and the score was really bad, and I knew from the beginning that it couldn’t be helped. The moment I finished my performance, since I knew Shoma’s score already, I felt, “Ahh, finally it’s over.” But I really want to say this here, even though this doesn’t respond to the question about my performance, I think Shoma can finally call himself the “Japanese National Champion” from the bottom of his heart. I’ve not been there for a long time due to my injury. If I were to compete with him before this, I might have lost to him even earlier, but really, finally it was the first time that I lost to Shoma in (the combined scores) in the SP and FS like this* so…I want him to be proud of himself and keep going from now on. It is a hard thing being a Japanese National champion. (laughs) But from now on, I want him to have confidence, and including myself, well, I still intend to keep working hard too and if we can lead together again…It’s not just putting (the pressure) on Shoma only, but I feel that it’ll be good if I can shoulder (the pressure) too and work hard together. (Towards Shoma) Let’s work hard together. Congratulations!
*T/N: This is purely our interpretation because he doesn’t elaborate, but we think he’s referring to World Team Trophy 2017 where Shoma beat him in the SP and the overall score but it was not counted because the two segments were calculated separately, the total score was not added up and they were on the same team.
There’s Yuma Kagiyama (Kanagawa Seisa International High School Yokohama) right next to you, and there’s another junior, Shun Sato (Sakae Saitama), who can do quads. Please tell us your candid feelings about the strong skaters catching up to you.
Not just the men, but including the ladies, it has come to a stage where they’re jumping quads one after another like this. We, like Shoma talked about earlier, are in the position of being chased but if we look at the jumps individually, actually we are in the position of catching up to the younger skaters. In my case, the 4Lz still has a low rate of success.Of course, there are fewer skaters who use 4Lo in competition, and just from that maybe everyone knows how difficult it is, but if you think about individual jumps, I am in the position where I am catching up, and my desire is to learn and embody it. Shun, this time, did not successfully land his 4Lz, but I saw him doing it beautifully at the official practice and it made me think that I want to be able to jump like that myself as well. Yuma’s accuracy and the height and the strength of the axis of 4T are some of the things that we can learn from. Since there are different types of skaters, I think it’s a great thing that there are many things we can watch again and learn by observation and get better at.
This is Part 1 of 3 of an article from Wasedasports.com published on 24 December 2019 which is a collection of excerpts from different interviews that Yuzuru Hanyu gave after the Japanese Nationals. Part 1 is an excerpt from a group interview. Parts 2 and 3 to come.
So many people were cheering me on and giving me power until the end despite my poor performance. I fell on the very last jump, but I think I gritted my teeth and did it. I can only say that I appreciate that they watched my performance until the end.
It is…I’m not sure which competition I am going to participate in yet, but I am really weak now. There is no way that I can compete well without landing the quad loop and the toe loop, and also the triple axel, there’s truly no way. I am very unsatisfied with my current self. I’m kuyashii. If there is another chance, I will work hard for the next competition.
I don’t know. I think I was doing the best I could do, I felt good until the 6 min warm up, and the feeling was not that bad. It was like I could feel the dissonance between my mental and physical condition
I made the mistake of popping the opening Lutz and then I thought of many possibilities. About where I could make my recovery jump. But I don’t think I had the physical strength to make such a recovery. Really, I was thinking it’s meaningless even if I made that kind of recovery. So I’m not sure. I can’t sort out my thinking. But now Shoma is finally back on track and to be honest, I am happy about it. This is the first time that I lost to him properly. I’m very happy about it. It’s difficult to describe what kind of happiness that is. But somehow, I feel relieved.
Is the exhaustion in your feet the reason for your mistake on the Lutz ?
Well…how can I say…what I thought about the image and..Hmm, whatever I say will sound like I’m making excuses for that mistake so I truly hate that. My honest feeling is that I don’t want to say anything.
I’ve been seeing Shoma struggling for a long time, but to see that he has finally settled down and can focus on skating makes me happy. I’d like him to keep working hard in his own way, as my junior. I want to cheer him on from the bottom of my heart.
You lost at the GPF and the Japanese Nationals, does that experience reduce the pressure on you?
It doesn’t matter that I lost to the Japanese skater or whom I lost to, I always think that I want to win no matter what. Of course I couldn’t do my best here, but I tried with all my might. So it’s not something like I was released from the pressure. I have a firm conviction in myself or something like pride in myself. I think Shoma can say that he is the “Japanese National Champion” proudly from now on. Because this year, I competed as well. So I think maybe I will chase him and threaten him a little from behind.
Were there any signs that things might not go well before FS?
The adjustment didn’t go well throughout. I felt like my body was getting worse day by day. I noticed something was strange even before the SP. But even so, I am privileged to receive support from many people and I adjusted my body condition to the best that it could be at that point, then it turned out like that. So to be honest, I think my skill and ability was not enough. But I think I gave it everything I had
――It seemed that you lost your concentration after you made a mistake, but what was the situation?
I was surprised, in my mind. Like “What’s going on?”. It was really different from what I was feeling. And it still is now. I can’t tell at all what is happening to my behavior to be honest. There are many areas where my feelings and what I am talking about feel like they’ve become separate things. But still, what I had envisioned and the sharpness of my body’s reaction is different. Maybe it was manageable when I was doing the SP and had physical strength left, but there’s nothing I can do about it and it was all shown in my performance (in FS). But if I’ll be honest, for example, swimmers do many races. Though the circumstances might be different. If I compare with those swimmers, I only participated in 3 competitions within 5 weeks. Then I only have this much physical power left. So now I’ve begun to think that I really use so much power to do my jumps and I have to be able to do a good jump in my own style while saving more energy. I didn’t give up. I really fought till the end with everything I had left. If I hadn’t, I would not have done the 3F (4T-1Eu-3F instead of 3S) at that point.