So far so good. World junior champion Julia Lipnitskaia did what many expected her to do today. She skated a clean short program to go into the lead after the short program on the first day of competition at the 2012 Cup of China, the third Grand Prix event of the season.
After dominating the junior season on her way to the World junior title last season, Lipnitskaia is out to prove that she can hang with the best in the world. Already having won her senior international debut at Finlandia, she is bidding for a win in her Grand Prix debut. She’s halfway there, winning the short program, which included the competition’s only triple lutz-triple toe, with a score of 63.06.
VIDEOS: Ladies’ short and short dance
Not far behind is two-time World champion Mao Asada, who skated technically-conservative short program to go into second with a 62.89. She did not attempt her trademark triple axel or a triple-triple combination, but she was clean with a triple flip-double loop and a solo triple loop.
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Ladies’ short program
Also skating a strong short was former U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu. Her only mistake in the program was an underrotated and two-footed backend of her opening triple toe-triple toe combination. She is currently third, three points behind Asada and less than a tenth above Finland’s Kiira Korpi.
Earlier in the day, World bronze medalists Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat took a comfortable lead in the short dance. In second are Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who hold a lead of just over a point over Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev.
LADIES (after the short program)
1. Julia Lipnitskaia RUS – 63.06
2. Mao Asada JPN – 62.89
3. Mirai Nagasu USA – 59.76
4. Kiira Korpi FIN – 59.69
5. Zijun Li CHN – 59.21
6. Amelie Lacoste CAN – 57.43
7. Joshi Helgesson SWE – 49.67
8. Sofia Biryukova RUS – 44.39
9. Ying Zhang CHN – 43.38
10. Bingwa Geng CHN – 36.53
DANCE (after the short dance)
1. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat FRA – 69.15
2. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje CAN – 65.59
3. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev RUS – 64.32
4. Madison Chock/Evan Bates USA – 59.26
5. Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri ITA – 55.57
6. Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin RUS – 55.09
7. Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng CHN – 46.76
8. Xiaoyang Yu/Chen Wang CHN – 52.97
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