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Sochi Olympic men’s figure skating: Japan wins gold, Team USA places ninth

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: (L) Patrick Chan of Canada on the podium winning silver, (C) Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the gold medalist, and (R) Denis Ten of Kazakhstan winning bronze in Figure Skating from the Men's Free Skate at the Winter Olympics.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: (L) Patrick Chan of Canada on the podium winning silver, (C) Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the gold medalist, and (R) Denis Ten of Kazakhstan winning bronze in Figure Skating from the Men's Free Skate at the Winter Olympics.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan became the first male Japanese skater to win the men’s individual figure skating Friday. Highlights of the free skating competition were presented on NBC in its primetime telecast, saving the best for last. It was definitely not one of the best figure skating long programs thus far in Sochi.

Hanyu’s long program consisted of two falls flat onto the ice. Luckily for him, his short program triple-digit score kept Hanyu in first place. Many other skaters were not able to complete jumps.

Patrick Chan of Canada had a golden opportunity after Yuzuru’s performance to take over the lead. The Canadian curse still haunted Chan with a sloppy performance. Canada still ended up with the silver medal.

Team USA’s Jason Brown felt the pressure when he was the last skater shown on the NBC telecast. He needed to have a perfect routine, which wasn’t the case. Jason fell from 6th place to 9th.

Another crowd favorite, Jeremy Abbott, had the cleanest program of all the skaters. He rose from 15th to 12th afterwards. One of the biggest surprises was Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten meteoric rise from 9th to capture the bronze.