Yuzuru Hanyu fails to land quad axel

The Associated Press
Yuzuru Hanyu falls in the men’s free skate program during the figure skating event at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Thursday.

BEIJING (AP) — Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu fell on his attempt to become the first figure skater to land the quad axel in competition, then fell again on a quad salchow during what could be the two-time gold medalist’s final Olympic performance.

Hanyu has toyed with the 4 1/2-rotation jump for months, and the 27-year-old Japanese star viewed it as not only a jump to keep him enthused about skating but also one that could even the playing field with Nathan Chen.

His longtime American rival, while playing with the quad axel in practice, has never seriously considered it for competition.

The Winnie-the-Pooh-loving Hanyu, whose difficulties in his short program left him out of the final group for Thursday’s free skate, finished the rest of his performance without any other problems. But those miscues alone were enough to dash his chances of earning a medal at the Beijing Games.