CHONGQING, China (AP) — Fifteen-year-old Anna Shcherbakova took the lead in the short program at the Cup of China on Friday, and Yan Han leads the men’s event after returning from a season out.
Shcherbakova, who is looking to win her second Grand Prix of the season following victory at last month’s Skate America, landed a double axel and a triple lutz-triple loop combination for a personal-best 73.51 points.
“The performance was good,” the Russian said. “I did all my jumps and elements, but I want more quality for all my elements.”
Satoko Miyahara of Japan was second with 68.91 points, while Amber Glenn of the United States was third with 67.69 ahead of Saturday’s free skate.
Along with Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia, Shcherbakova is one of three young Russian skaters who have moved up to the senior level this season. Between them, they have won all three women’s Grand Prix events so far with an array of big jumps.
Yan scored 86.46 points to lead the men’s short program in his first international competition since a sabbatical last season. Chinese teammate Jin Boyang earned 85.43 points for second and Matteo Rizzo of Italy was third with 81.72.
China is on course for another win in pairs, where Sui Wenjing and Han Cong opened up a 12-point lead in the short program, scoring 80.90. Liubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau of Canada are second ahead of Peng Cheng and Jin Yang of China.
Russian ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsapalov were first in the rhythm dance with 85.39 points.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates were second for the United States, while Canadian pair Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen were third.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports