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Coach says Hanyu should be fine for GP Final

December 1, 2014

TOKYO (AP) — Yuzuru Hanyu’s coach Brian Orser says the Japanese Olympic figure skating champion will be ready for the Grand Prix Final, although he is still recovering from a collision at the Cup of China last month.

Hanyu finished fourth at the NHK Trophy on Saturday, a result that allowed him to qualify for the Dec. 11-14 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona by a slim margin.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with bruising to his head and chin after colliding with Chinese skater Yan Han in warmups at the Cup of China three weeks ago and also had some injuries to his leg.

While much has been made of Hanyu’s head injury, Orser said Monday the leg injury was more of a threat to his appearance at the NHK.

“It was mainly because of the injury to his leg and ankle that he needed to recover,” Orser said. “It was determined there was no trauma to his head.”

Canadian-born Orser said that Hanyu’s program for the NHK was simplified to take his recovery from injury into account. He also said he gave Hanyu the option of not competing at all in the weekend’s event in Osaka.

“He really wanted to compete and I’m not going to argue with that determination,” Orser said.

Orser insisted that Hanyu will be in good shape for the GP Final where he will be the defending champion.

“If he sticks to the plan, he will be fine,” Orser said.

Orser was speaking at an event at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo to promote his book “Team Brian,” which chronicles his experiences coaching Olympic champions Hanyu and South Korea’s Yuna Kim.