Lysacek takes lead in Harbin

USA’s Evan Lysacek lead the men after the short program, followed by teammate Johnny Weir. Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland is currently third.

Lysacek put his hand down on the landing of the first jump in a quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination, but otherwise delivered a triple Axel and a triple Lutz in his Zorro routine. The 22-year-old also executed two level three footwork sequences and two level four spins, earning a new personal best of 81.55 points.

“It felt much stronger today than at my first Grand Prix Skate America,” said the U.S. champion. “It’s a good sign that I’m taking positive steps forward towards the later part of the season.”

Weir’s short program to selections by Alexei Rybnikov featured a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a beautiful triple Axel, and a triple flip. The U.S. bronze medalist also displayed two good level four spins and a difficult level three circular footwork sequence, earning 79.80 points.

The 23-year-old was happy with his performance as he came close to his personal best (80.00 points) at his first grand prix event.

“I was excited with today’s performance after a kind of shaky warm-up,” said Weir. “I handled my nerves well.”

Lambiel fell on a quadruple toeloop attempt in his routine to Carne Cruda by Fernando Egozcue, but otherwise landed a double Axel and a triple Lutz.

“The start into the season is always hard for me,” explained Lambiel. “I concentrated too much on my quad and put too much energy into it, so I over-rotated my upper body.”

The 22-year-old later explained that the reason he did a double Axel instead of a triple is because he’s changed his preparation going into the jump.

“I still need to get used to this,” said Lambiel.

The current World bronze medalist also produced very good spins and an excellent level three circular footwork sequence, earning a score of 70.20 points.

Skating to music from the Schindler’s List soundtrack, Sergei Davydov of Belarus opened with a triple Axel, followed by a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, and a triple flip. The 2006 Cup of China silver medalist also produced good footwork throughout his routine, earning 68.69 points for a fourth place finish.

Shawn Sawyer of Canada is currently fifth with 63.41 points. The Canadian landed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination and a triple Lutz, but underrotated and two-footed the landing of a triple Axel.

Russia’s Alexander Uspenski landed a triple Axel and triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, but fell on a triple flip. He is currently in sixth place with 60.90 points.

China’s Jialiang Wu is currently in seventh, followed by Karel Zelenka of Italy.

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