Japan skater Hanyu holds first public practice session as pro

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu performs during a public practice session at Ice Rink Sendai in Sendai on Wednesday.

SENDAI — Two-time Winter Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu took to the ice Wednesday in Sendai for his first public practice session after turning pro.

The 27-year-old, who announced his retirement from competitive figure skating in July, gave a flawless hometown rendition of “Seimei,” the program he performed at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

“I wanted to prove that I’ve been getting better since the Pyeongchang Games,” Hanyu told reporters. “Standing at the professional starting line today, I feel I can improve even further.”

During the session, Hanyu attempted to land quadruple axel jumps, but failed. “I’m going to give it my all, practice-wise,” he said.

The public session, which started around noon, was livestreamed on his official YouTube channel “Hanyu Yuzuru,” which launched Sunday.