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Uno skates personal best in men's short program, eyes victory at world championships

Shoma Uno performs during the World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, on March 30, 2017. (Mainichi)

HELSINKI -- Shoma Uno climbed into second place at the World Figure Skating Championships here on March 30 with a moving men's short program performance that earned him a career high 104.86 points.

After finishing his richly expressive routine set to an orchestral melody, the 19-year-old rising star immediately raised his right fist in a victory pose. Uno's score was 4.58 points higher than his previous best.

"Achieving this high score was the product of all of my experiences this past year, and I am truly happy to also have reached second place," he commented.

"Even if I couldn't execute the jumps during practice, the number of jumps I could do (in competitions) has increased if I concentrate," he said. This was indeed the case, as he successfully executed a quadruple flip followed by a quad-triple toe loop combination in the opening sequence of his program, adding over 1 point to his execution score. "I guess I was able to reflect my training in the competition," he said.

Uno skated while reflecting on his shortcomings at last year's World Figure Skating Championships and in the Sapporo Asian Winter Games this past February. His first time competing in the world championships in 2016 ended in a tearful seventh place, and while he won the competition in Sapporo, he made mistakes during both his short and free skating programs. Not wanting to repeat the same errors, he skated with everything he had for his spectacular short program.

Even with this victory, Uno is readying himself for the free skating program as he sets his sights on the winners' podium.

"Right now, I don't know how much my score will drop or how many places I will drop in the rankings if I make a mistake." He is approaching the high-stakes competition hoping to showcase his skills to the fullest. "I don't want to concentrate only on the jumps," he said, "I want to skate in a way that my whole performance is considered the highlight."

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