Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Olympic champion figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan broke his own world record Friday in the short program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.
Hanyu, 23, leads in the short program of the Grand Prix Series event by over 20 points with a record-breaking score of 110.53 -- over his previous record of 106.69. Morisi Kvitelashvilli of Georgia is in second place with 89.94, while Alexander Majorov of Sweden comes in third with 82.33 points. After a surprise series of mistakes, Russia's own Mikhail Kolyada is in eighth place with only 69.10.
At his last Grand Prix event in Helsinki, Finland, Hanyu set new world records for the short program, free skate and total score.
In a characteristic performance for the two-time Olympic champion, Hanyu landed two successful quads and a triple axel -- all with positive grades of execution. His quadruple salchow earned a whopping 4.3 bonus points in grade of execution, one of the highest of the season.
Fans from all over the world crowded the stadium Friday in Moscow, waving Japanese flags or banners for Hanyu.
"We were here last year, too. His performance speaks to your heart," Stiho Scehoening, who came from San Francisco to see Hanyu skate, told the Olympic Channel. "He's an all-rounder, he's not just about jumps. His skating is beautiful as well."
After a devastating injury in his second Grand Prix event last season, Hanyu expressed satisfaction with putting out a strong program despite a quick turn-around between competitions. He competed in Helsinki just two weeks ago.
"I'm relieved," Hanyu told Kyodo News. "I'm still in my preparation mode in the sense that there were a number of issues I've been trying to iron out, and so I had some real anxieties coming in. So in that sense, being able to accomplish this is a relief."
At last year's Rostelecom Cup, Hanyu was famously approached on the ice by a young boy who gave him a fan drawing and was subsequently allowed to meet the Olympic skater backstage. The two reunited Friday, sharing a brief hug on the ice after Hanyu's performance.
The competition last year ended in a silver medal finish for Hanyu, behind U.S. champion, Nathan Chen. The story will certainly be different this year as Yuzuru moves toward his third gold medal of the season and a place in the Grand Prix Finals. Chen is not competing in the event this year.
The Rostelecom Cup continues Saturday with free skates in every discipline.