Uno refreshes season best in figure skating short program at Cup of China

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CHONGQING, China, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Reigning world champion Shoma Uno set a new season best score for the men's short program as the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series Cup of China got underway here on Friday.

Skating to "Love You Kung Fu" and "Clair de Lune", the Japanese talent, who turns 26 years old next month, hit his trademark quad flip, a quad toe-triple toe combination, and a triple Axel, which was credited for "highlight distribution", to score 105.25 points. He also earned a level four for his spins and a level three for the footwork.

The previous men's short program best score of the 2023-2024 season was held by US teenage sensation Ilia Malinin, who scored 104.06 points on October 20 at the season-opening Skate America.

"I did a good job with the jumps today and the whole package," Uno commented at a post-competition press conference.

"At this competition, I don't think about the result or the points, I just want to show my program," he added.

European champion Adam Siao Him Fa came second to Uno's strong lead, trailing by 14 points. Kazakhstan's Mikhail Shaidorov stood third further 1.27 points back.

Local favorite Jin Boyang, a two-time world bronze medalist, placed fourth with a personal season best of 87.44, beating Italian Gabriele Frangipani and Japanese Kazuki Tomono to the fifth and sixth respectively. Skate Canada champion Sota Yamamoto of Japan only ranked in eighth with errors on his jumps.

The ISU senior's GP newcomers, Xu Juwen and Dai Dawei of China, sat on 10th and 11th with scores of 65.57 and 64.25 respectively.

World bronze medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium led the women's short program with 70.65 points, despite an unsuccessful Axel. Japan's Rinka Watanabe and Hana Yoshida followed in second and third.

Niina Petrokina of Estonia was close to the podium in fourth place at 62.58 points, while China's Chen Hongyi and An Xiangyi, another Chinese debutant to the senior figure skating, came fifth and sixth on 62.57 and 61.86 points.

Skate Canada champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Canada and European silver medalists Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini of Italy finished 1-2 in the pairs short program on 70.39 and 66.33, and China's three-time Olympian Peng Cheng and her new partner Wang Lei rounded out the podium with a score of 62.91.

Skate America champions Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel of Germany came fourth, while the other two Chinese pairs, Zhang Siyang/Yang Yongchao and Wang Yuchen/Zhu Lei finished fifth and seventh on 58.71 and 49.95 respectively.

In the ice dance event, Skate America silver medalists Majorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha from Canada led the rankings temporarily after rhythm dance, claiming 82.02 points to edge two-time world bronze medalists and compatriots Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier to second place by just 0.98 points.

American pair Caroline Green/Michael Parsons, the 2022 Four Continents champions, came out a distant third with 76.07 points. China's youngsters, Chen Xizi/Xing Jailing and Shi Shang/Wu Nan, finished the rhythm dance as the bottom two among nine pairs, after the Olympian pair Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu withdrew from the event due to Liu's injury.

The Cup of China, the fourth of six events of the ISU Grand Prix Series in which the world's best figure skaters collect points towards the 2023-2024 GP Final in Beijing on December 7-10, continues here on Saturday with the free dance and free programs of men's, women's and pairs figure skates. Enditem

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