Canada's Gabrielle Daleman takes narrow lead at Cup of China

Canadian figure skater Gabrielle Daleman leads the pack after the ladies’ short program at the Cup of China in Beijing.

The Newmarket, Ont., native earned a score of 70.65 on Friday to narrowly edge Wakaba Higuchi of Japan at 70.53 and Russia’s Elena Radionova at 70.48.

CBC Sports will have live coverage of Saturday’s free programs, beginning with the ice dance at 2:30 a.m. ET. 

Skating to Carmen, Daleman opened with a triple toeloop and added a triple lutz and a double axel.

Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman holds narrow lead at Cup of China6:12

”I was very happy with how today went,” said Daleman, 19. ”It’s another stepping stone in a long season and it’s a great way to start my year on the Grand Prix. There’s lots more to improve and I can’t wait to keep building on it.”

Mikhail Kolyada of Russia opened up a sizeable lead in the men’s short program with a score of 103.13. China’s Boyang Jin sits in second place at 93.89, while Javier Fernandez of Spain is third with 90.57. Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., is 10th with a score of 64.40.

Kolyada turned in a near flawless routine that featured a quad lutz, a quad-toeloop-triple toeloop and a triple axel.

Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada jumps out to big lead at Cup of China6:15

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France earned a score of 81.10 to grab the early lead in ice dance. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States are in second, but have some ground to make up with a score of 72.66.  Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev are third at 72.34.

France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron lead after short dance6:21

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han  of China hold a commanding lead after the pairs short with 80.14 points. Fellow countrymen Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang sit second with 71.37, while Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise are well back in third at 63.76.

Canadian pair Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are in fourth at 62.52. 

Chinese pair Wenjing Sui and Cong Han leading the way on home ice6:32

”I have mixed feelings about the performance,” said Moore-Towers. ”We had some good elements and had some uncharacteristic mistakes. We need to get our levels up a little bit. But it’s a solid step in the right direction.”

This is the third event of the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix series. The series consists of six events and culminates with the Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December — the last competition featuring the world’s top skaters before the Olympics.

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