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Chan leads in Moscow after short programme

MOSCOW (AFP) –

Patrick Chan of Canada performs

Patrick Chan of Canada performs during the men’s short program of the Russia’s Cup, the fourth leg of ISU Grand Prix skating series, at the Megasport arena in Moscow. Chan clinched the lead after the men’s short programme.

Reigning world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, who is seeking his first title of the season at the Cup of Russia, the fourth stage of ISU Grand Prix series, clinched the lead after the men’s short programme here Friday.

Though Chan failed to avoid minor inaccuracies in his presentation of Rachmaninov’s Elegie routine producing only a single axel after a quadruple toeloop he looked in a class of his own at the ice of Moscow’s Megasport arena.

The 21-year-old Toronto resident received 85.44 points for his performance, his season’s new best mark.

The local crowd favourite Konstantin Menshov was second after the first day of the event with a 76.73pt, just 0.41 ahead of third-placed Takahiko Kozuka of Japan.

Ice dance reigning world champions and Vancouver Olympics winners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada also received their season’s new best mark of 70.65 points to clinch the lead in the dancing section.

They are chased by two Russian dancing pairs Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, who received 65.70pts and Victoria Sinitsina with Ruslan Zhiganshin, who got 60.85 points.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform during their ice dance short program

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform during their ice dance short program of the ISU Grand Prix figure skating series Rostelecom Cup at the Megasport arena in Moscow. Virtue and Moir received their season’s new best mark of 70.65 points to clinch the lead in the dancing section.

In the women’s section, the junior world championships silver medalist Gracie Gold of the United States seized the lead with a 62.16-point result for her flawless presentation of Hernando’s Hideaway routine.

“I’m pleased with with my performance and the high marks I’ve got,” Gold said. “I’m proud of myself as I skated really well today.”

The European championships’ silver medalist, Finland’s Kiira Korpi, meanwhile grabbed the second place with her Claude Debussy’s “The Girl With Flaxen Hair” short programme receiving 61.55pts.

Another American Agnes Zawadzki was third after the opening day with a result of 60.18 points for her performance of the “Sex and the City” by Aaron Zigman.

Russia’s European champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, who already won a Grand Prix title this season at Skate America, dominated the pairs section of the event clinching the top place with a 74.74-point mark for their short programme.

Their compatriots Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov finished second after the first day with a 66.02pts result, while Caydee Denney and John Coughlin of the United States received 59.02 points to take third.

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