Vancouver (AFP) Japanese Olympic hopeful Daisuke Takahashiis ready to brave the difficult quadruple jump in a bid to land a place on the podium in Vancouver.
The Japanese figure skating champion is just 0.60 behind title-holder Yevgeny Plushenkoafter a short programme that left spectators at the Pacific Coliseum spellbound on Tuesday.
Despite opting against the quad, his innovative spins, step sequences and clean footwork impressed the judges despite them giving the advantage technically to Plushenko.
Takahashi has landed quads in the past.
The 23-year-old landed two in an International Skating Union (ISU) competition for the first time in 2008 before picking up a knee injury in October that year which forced him to miss the 2009 season.
He braved the difficult four-rotation jump during his comeback at the nationals this year, but two-footed and touched the ice on landing.
"Since the Nagano Olympics, people have been trying to include the quad jump. I think it's necessary for competing in something like the Olympics," said the four-time national champion.
"For me and for my success, I think it's important to work on the quad and it's important for the future of the sport."
Takahashi started training at the age of eight and became the first Japanese skater to win the junior world title in 2002.
But it took the young skater from Osaka years to conquer his nerves and reach his true potential, claiming the world silver in 2007.
This season he successfully came back from injury winning a fourth national title, and is hopeful of finally getting Japan onto the Olympic men's podium.
"My injury is perfect. I am in my best condition and will continue doing what I have been practising and do my best," he added.