South Korea’s Yu-Na Kim currently sits in first after the Short Program, followed by Mao Asada of Japan and Canada’s Joannie Rochette.
Kim broke another Short Program record after scoring a new personal best 78.50 (44.70/33.80) points for first place in her flawless “James Bond” routine.
The 19-year-old phenom nailed a triple Lutz-triple toeloop, a triple flip, and a double Axel, all of which received high positive Grades of Execution (GoE). She also received positive GoEs on all three level 4 spins as well as her level 4 spiral sequence.
“I felt comfortable and I was able to enjoy my Short Program today,” said the current World Champion. “Mao skated perfectly. I was a little worried, but there was no pressure.”
Asada nailed a triple Axel-double toeloop and triple flip in her compelling routine to Waltz Masquerade. The Japanese Champion also produced a solid double Axel, as well three level 4 spins, placing second with a season’s best score of 73.78 (41.50/32.28) points.
“I’m very relieved,” the 19-year-old later told the press. “This is the best Short Program that I’ve skated this years. I tried to stay calm. I practiced my Short Program a lot and trusted myself to pull off the triple Axel.”
Rochette, who’s mother tragically passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, gave a sound and admirable performance to place third with a new personal best of 71.36 points (39.20/32.16).
The grief-stricken skater showed tremendous inner strength as she performed her La Cumparsita routine, landing a triple Lutz-double toeloop, triple flip, and double Axel – all of which earned +1 GoEs. The six-time Canadian Champion also showed a very good level 4 spiral sequence and was graded a level 4 on two of her spins.
“It was hard to be precise,” Rochette, 24, later told the press. “Ten years from now, I’d like to come back and do this again. It was very nice to have the warm welcome [of the crowd]. It was hard to handle, but I appreciate the support.”
Japan’s Miki Ando placed fourth with 64.76 (34.80/29.96) points after her Requiem routine. The current World bronze medalist attempted a triple Lutz-triple loop, however, the second jump was cheated and subsequently downgraded. The 22-year-old otherwise produced a triple flip and double Axel, and earned level 4 for her spiral sequence and two of her spins.
Rachael Flatt placed fifth with a new personal best of 64.64 (36.80/27.84) after an upbeat routine to Prima’s Sing, Sing, Sing. The U.S. Champion landed a solid triple flip-triple toeloop and a double Axel, however, the landing on the the triple Lutz was a bit shaky. Nevertheless, the 17-year-old otherwise displayed a very good level spiral sequence, and earned level 4 for two of her spins.
Teammate Mirai Nagasu gave a solid performance which included a triple Lutz-double toeloop, a triple flip, and a double Axel in her routine to music from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. The U.S. silver medalist also received positive GoEs for her stunning spins, as well as her level 4 spiral sequence, and placed sixth with a new season’s best of 63.76 (37.00/26.76) points.
Carolina Kostner of Italy placed seventh with 63.02 (33.34/29.68) points. The European Champion landed a triple flip-double toeloop and double Axel, but put her hands down on the landing of a triple Lutz. She otherwise earned a level 4 with positive GoEs for her spiral sequence and earned level 4 for two of her spins.
Russia’s Alena Leonova produced a triple flip-double toeloop, triple Lutz, and double Axel in her Russian Folk routine. The 2009 World Junior Champion also earned a level 4 on all three of her spins as well as a very good spiral sequence. The 19-year-old earned a new personal best score of 62.14 (33.90/28.24) points for an eighth place finish.
Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia placed ninth after a solid performance which featured a triple Lutz, a triple toeloop-triple toeloop, and a double Axel. The European bronze medalist also produced good spins and a level 4 spiral sequence to earn a new personal best of 61.92 (35.80/26.12) for her Fever routine.
Finnish Champion Laura Lepistö rounds out the top 10 (61.36), followed closely by Japan’s Akiko Suzuki (61.02) and Russia’s Ksenia Makarova (59.22).