Japan’s Kihira wins short program at Skate Canada

(Reuters) – Japan’s Rika Kihira outdueled South Korean You Young to win the ladies short program as both teenagers landed triple axels at Skate Canada in Kelowna, British Columbia, on Friday.

Oct 25, 2019; Kelowna, British Columbia, CAN; Rika Kihira (JPN) perform during the ladies short program at the Skate Canada International figure skating competition at Prospera Place. Mandatory Credit: Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports

Kihira collected 81.35 points to You’s personal best of 78.22 as world junior champion Alexandra Trusova of Russia took third (74.40).

Kihira, 17 and the International Skating Union grand final champion, began her program to “Breakfast in Baghdad” with a solid triple axel. The Four Continents champion followed with a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple loop and level-four spins and footwork.

“The quality of my triple axel and my triple loop was good, like in practice, but in some parts of the program I was nervous and I didn’t do my spins so well,” she told reporters.

You, 15, landed a triple axel, triple lutz-triple toe and triple flip while skating to “Romeo and Juliet” .

“I have been working on the triple axel for three years. Now I feel good and have more confidence,” the Korean champion said.

The 15-year-old Trusova’s program featured a double axel, triple lutz-triple loop and triple flip.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia was sixth after falling on a triple lutz and stumbling on a double axel.

The men’s and pairs short program were scheduled for later on Friday.

Two-time world medallists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States took the ice dance lead, scoring 83.21 points to 82.58 for Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier in the rhythm dance competition.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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