Japan’s Shoma Uno successfully defended his title as men’s figure skating world champion March 25, scoring 196.51 in the free skate for a winning total of 301.14.
The Beijing Winter Olympic bronze medalist finished 5.11 points ahead of South Korea’s Cha Jun-hwan, with 18-year-old rising American star Ilia Malinin rounding out the podium on 288.44.
Uno’s victory capped off a successful ISU World Figure Skating Championships for the host nation at Saitama Super Arena.
Kaori Sakamoto also went back to back as women’s champion, while Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won Japan’s maiden pairs world title.
Despite dealing with an ankle injury before the short program, Uno earned his highest segment score of the season on March 22 to lead the second-place Malinin by 4.25 coming into the free skate.
With a vocal home crowd behind him, Uno delivered a solid free skate routine featuring five quadruple jumps. Overcoming a slight stumble on his second jump, a quadruple salchow, he executed his remaining elements confidently.
“This free program was far from perfect, but this was everything I could do at this moment,” the 25-year-old Uno said. “I put everything out there.” (Kyodo)