The American pairs duo of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier scored 75.19 factors of their short program to take the lead over Canada’s Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps, who had 73.05 factors at Skate America on Friday night time in Norwood, Mass.
Knierim and Frazier, who helped the U.S. win workforce silver at the Beijing Olympics, are heavy favourites at the opening ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating occasion after profiting from the absence of the highly effective Russian groups to win their first world title earlier this 12 months.
Performing to “Separate Ways” by the American rock band Journey, Knierim and Frazier dazzled a sellout crowd with their opening triple twist. Frazier two-footed the touchdown on their side-by-side triple toe loop, however the 2021 champions from Skate America got here again with an attractive throw triple flip to earn a strong part rating.
Knierim and Frazier have been anticipated to point out out on the Grand Prix stage, although. The shock got here from Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps, whose efficiency to “Oblivion” by Astor Piazzolla put them solidly in second place.
The winners of the lower-level Nebelhorn Trophy earlier this 12 months have been strong from their opening triple twist, by their side-by-side triple toe and into their throw triple loop to maintain inside vary of the gold medal.
“We are very happy with our efficiency, completely happy to be right here,” mentioned Stellato-Dudek, who calls Chicago residence and beforehand skated for the U.S. “It’s sort of a homecoming for me. It’s like my marriage ceremony. It’s like I do know everyone.”
Letizia Roscher and Luis Schuster of Germany have been properly behind in third with 54.87 factors, whereas fellow Canadians Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier are in fourth place (52.59).
WATCH | Canada’s Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps sit in 2nd place after short program:
Miura tops males’s short program; Malinin sits 4th
Kao Miura took benefit of the withdrawal of Japanese countryman Yuma Kagiyama, together with an uncharacteristic fall by American rival Ilia Malinin, to take the lead after the lads’s short program.
The 17-year-old Miura landed a giant opening quad salchow-triple toe loop together with a triple axel and a quad toe loop to attain a personal-best 94.96 factors at the Tenley E. Albright Performance Center close to Boston. That gave Miura a slim lead over South Korea’s Cha Junhwan, who moonwalked by a Michael Jackson mashup to a rating of 94.44 factors.
“I sort of am telling myself, `Why am I sitting right here?’ Miura mentioned afterward. “And it is as a result of I did all the things I ought to have executed on the ice. I simply tried to be assured on the ice and that labored for me.”
WATCH | Miura in 1st place after males’s short program:
Daniel Grassl of Italy was third with 88.43 factors whereas Malinin, the 17-year-old who made historical past by touchdown the primary quad axel in competitors, was fourth after a fall on his quad toe loop left him with 86.06 factors.
“I believe at the very starting I felt very assured going into it. I used to be very within the moment,” mentioned Malinin, the junior world champion, who was making his senior Grand Prix debut. “After that little fall, it threw me off a bit of bit. I needed to brush it off and simply proceed with the remainder of the program.”
Canada’s Roman Sadovsky sits in fifth place with 78.15 factors, whereas compatriot Wesley Chiu is ninth with 71.58.
Malinin grew to become the favorite at Skate America when Kagiyama, the Olympic silver medallist, withdrew from the occasion due to an harm. But it was Miura, the 17-year-old Japanese junior champion, who took the lead going into the free skate because of a technical rating that was greater than 5 factors larger than anybody else.
It was a full eight factors greater than Malinin, who simply may must land his quad axel Saturday night time to have an opportunity.
“It actually relies upon how I really feel personally,” Malinin mentioned of trying the 4 1/2-rotation leap.
Watch stay protection of Skate America on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. Action continues by Sunday.
WATCH | Malinin aiming to win 1st senior Grand Prix at Skate America: