Javier Fernandez, a skater with duende, has transcendent triumph

BOSTON - There was a transcendent performance at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships.

It came not from Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, the man who had been doing otherworldly stuff all season, but from Javier Fernández, the defending champion whom Hanyu had overshadowed.

His was, simply, the greatest free skate in the history of the world championships, whether you judge it by the point total or the total package of jump difficulty, entertainment quality, competitive courage and stylistic sass Fernández showed Friday night before a near-sellout crowd at TD Garden.

The best way to describe it is with the Spanish word duende. No matter that the word has no exact translation but has come to connote ideas like passion, magnetism, inspiration and guts that add up to an intangible sense of genius.