Japan's Shoma Uno declared himself ready to step out of the long shadow cast by two-time Olympic champion and compatriot Yuzuru Hanyu, when he added a bronze medal on Thursday to the men's silver he won four years ago on Olympic debut.
The 24-year-old Uno, a two-time world silver medalist, started Thursday's free skate in third place but was marked down on three of his jumps en route to a 187.10-point performance, about 10 shy of his personal best from his 2019 ISU Four Continents triumph.
It was enough to move him onto the podium ahead of Hanyu, who finished fourth at Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium.
Uno said afterward he believed he could make the big jump to compete with the likes of America's Nathan Chen, the new Olympic champion and three-time defending world champ.
"My (performance) level will rise if I continue with these components and training," Uno said.
"I believe it might be possible even to compete in the position where Nathan is right now."
Uno's story has often been about who or who is not his coach. He entered the 2019-2020 season determined to forge his own way without a primary coach. In that season, however, he turned to two-time former world champion Stephane Lambiel.
Unfortunately, Uno had to once more go it alone upon his arrival in Beijing after Lambiel tested positive for COVID-19, delaying his trip to China.
But instead of crumble, Uno delivered two solid short programs, one that helped Japan win team bronze, and another on Tuesday that put him in position for a second straight singles podium.
Even his free skate did not get him down.
"To be able to make it to the Olympics after all that has happened in the last four years, and to produce results worthy of third place, I'm extremely happy," Uno said.