Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan turned in a glittering, world record-setting short program to claim first place during the opening round of the men's figure skating competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 13.
Hanyu, the 19 year-old reigning Grand Prix Final champion, became the first man to break the 100-point threshhold with a sterling iteration of his "Parisian Walkways" program that scored a jaw-dropping 101.45. Three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada sits in silver medal position with a 97.52, while the third through sixth place skaters are separated by less than a single point entering the Feb. 14 long program round.
Team USA's Jason Brown, the 19-year old upstart who became an international sensation after a recording of his "Riverdance" long program went viral in January, placed sixth with a personal best mark of 86.00 and earned the right to skate as a member the top-seeded groups during the medal round. Without a quadruple jump in his repertoire, Brown is a long shot to medal, but it isn't a mathematical impossibility.
But it wasn't a good news kind of day for all of the men taking part in the competition. Brown's teammate, reigning U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, fell hard while trying to land an opening quadruple toeloop. Although he recovered to qualify for the medal round, he ranked just 15th with a mark of 72.58.
There was also plenty of disappointment for the Games' host nation when four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko, who was Russia's sole entrant in the men's competition, withdrew just moments before he was scheduled to skate. The 31-year old, who helped the Russian team win gold in the first-ever team event, cited injury as his reason for opting out.
The men's figure skating champion of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be decided during the Feb. 14 long program round.