BEIJING – Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., opened with a dazzling triple-triple combo en route to a first place finish in Friday’s women’s short program at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.
Barely a point separates the top-four. Daleman, last season’s world championship bronze medallist, totalled 70.65 points. Wakaba Higuchi of Japan is second at 70.53, Elena Radionova of Russia third at 70.48 and her compatriot Alina Zagitova fourth at 69.44.
‘’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.’’
In pairs, Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., are fourth after the short program with 62.56.
‘’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.’’
China stands 1-2 with Wenjing Sui and Cong Han first at 80.14 and Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang second at 71.37. Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise of Italy are third at 63.76.
In men’s competition, Mikhail Kolyada of Russia is first, Boyang Jin of China second and two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain third.
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C. is 10th.
Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.
Full results: ISU GP Audi Cup of China 2017