Shoma Uno retained his figure skating world title and gave host country Japan more to celebrate after a nerveless performance in the free skate in Saitama, north of Tokyo, on Saturday.
Uno held off a challenge from American teenager Ilia Malinin – who became the first skater ever to land a quadruple axel at a world championships to claim gold in front of a packed crowd.
Uno's victory gave Japan its third gold medal of the competition, after Kaori Sakamoto retained her women's title the previous night and Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won the pairs event.
Uno went into this week's competition struggling with his jumps and hurt his ankle in a practice fall on the eve of the short programme.
But he stamped his class all over the event to earn an overall score of 301.14 and finish ahead of South Korea's Cha Jun-hwan on 296.03 and third-place Malinin on 288.44.
"These past two weeks have been very tough because I've been in bad shape and I have caused problems for the people around me," said the 25-year-old.
"But I was able to pay them back and show my gratitude with my performance today."
Beginning his routine to "Air On The G String", Uno glided around the ice but stumbled on an early jump.
He delivered the rest of his programme with smooth precision, however, earning a standing ovation from the adoring crowd.
He collapsed to the ice at the end of his routine, then gave a quiet smile when his victory was confirmed.
Uno had to be at his best to beat the 18-year-old Malinin, who lived up to his own hype with another electrifying performance. (AFP)