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Kim leads after ladies short program

Kim leads after ladies short program

South Korea's Kim Yu-na led a strong field after the ladies' short program at Skate America on Saturday night, ahead of two Japanese skaters that include 2007 world champion Miki Ando.
The 18-year-old Kim earned 69.50 points despite touching down with her hand on a double axel midway through her program.
But no one skated a mistake-free program. Ando, who under-rotated a triple loop and fell on a relatively simple step sequence, was second with 57.80 and Yukari Nakano was third with 57.46.
The rest of Kim's program was solid, showcasing her jumping ability. Ando is returning to form after injuries nearly drove her to retirement last season.
Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolokowy, the defending world champions, and rising American stars Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker took advantage of mistakes by the leading Russian pair to finish 1-2 in the pairs competition.
Also, Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto remained in second place after the original dance portion of ice dance, trailing world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France.
The men's free skate was later Saturday night, while the ladies free skate was scheduled for Sunday.
Savchenko and Szolokowy, skating next to last in the pairs free skate, rallied from second place to top Russia's surprise leaders, Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov, by posting an overall score of 180.77.
McLaughlin and Brubaker, the 2008 national champions, were the crowd-pleasers. In third place going into the free skate, they solidified their status as the U.S.'s top pairs team and announced their arrival internationally, finishing second with 172.69 points.
Like the ladies short program, no one skated clean. Savchenko and Szolokowy were out of synch on a triple salchow and subsequent spin, and Savchenko had a rough landing on a throw. But the pair, the first German world champions since 1997, showed poise and creativity, especially with their lifts.
Mukhortova and Trankov wound up third with 167.67 points.
"It was difficult for us to perform last in the competition," Mukhortova said. "We have a lot of competitions ahead of us and we can improve a lot."
Silver-medalists at last season's European Championships, the pair is hoping to extend a remarkable Russian era of dominance in the sport. Russia has won every Olympic gold medal in pairs since 1964, including a tie for the title in 2002.
Belbin and Agosto had 95.10 points after two of three segments of the ice dancing competition. Delobel and Schoenfelder, the reigning world champions currently in their 19th season together, were first overall with 96.75 points.
Britain's Sinead and John Kerr were third with 92.11. The free dance was set for Sunday.


Updated : 2021-05-14 04:19 GMT+08:00