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Hanyu leads in Montreal after underwhelming short

Nagasu posts personal-best score; Séguin, Bilodeau set pairs standard
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Yuzuru Hanyu's short program didn't go quite as planned, but it was good enough to place the Japanese skater in first. -Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu got the reception of a rock star, but he didn't exactly skate like one.

The Japanese megastar flubbed his triple-triple combination on his way to taking the lead at the 2016 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Quebec. Mirai Nagasu and pair Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau skated personal-best shorts to grab the lead in their respective disciplines.


Hanyu, the world silver medalist, opened his "Let's Go Crazy" short by hanging onto his opening quad loop -- the first such jump ever landed in competition with a positive Grade of Execution (0.80). He followed that landmark achievement by completely botching his planned quad salchow-triple toe, popping the first part and falling on the second. His last jump element, a triple axel, was clean. The reigning Olympic champion's score of 88.30 was more than 22 points off his personal best.

Coming in second was the affable Misha Ge, who netted 79.52 points for his short to Ciara's version of "Paint It Black." The Uzbekistani landed his first-ever quad in competition (-.2.48 GOE), and he added a triple axel and triple lutz-triple toe for good measure.

Keegan Messing finished third despite receiving two deductions for his "Singin' in the Rain" short -- one for a fall on his opening quad toe attempt and one for a timing violation. The native Alaskan, who now represents Canada, registered a segment mark of 75.41.

Max Aaron struggled in his "Nessun Dorma" short, doubling his first quad attempt (which was invalidated) and landing a so-so triple lutz-triple toe. The U.S. silver medalist totaled 70.74 points to finish fifth.


In what was the best short program performance of her lengthy career, Nagasu landed a triple flip-triple toe, triple loop and double axel, and she earned Level 4's for all of her spins and steps. The former U.S. champion totaled 73.40 points for her routine to Chopin's "Nocturne in C-sharp minor" and will take an almost 12-point lead into Saturday's free skate. 

Elizabet Tursynbaeva rebounded from a poor effort in the short at the U.S. International Classic two weeks ago with an improved performance in Pierrefonds. The reigning champion at this event, Tursynbaeva connected on her opening triple lutz-triple toe combination in her "I Got Rhythm" routine but later stepped out of her triple loop. She earned a segment score of 61.48 and a second-place finish.

A fluke fall during her step sequence was the only thing that kept Na Hyun Kim from putting out a mistake-free rendition of her "I Will Always Love You" short. The South Korean took third in the segment with 60.38 points.

Rika Hongo sits fourth with 60.33 points. Skating to "Carmina Burana," the Japanese skater stepped out of the second part of her opening triple flip-triple toe and came down a little out of control on her triple lutz.

Team USA's Franchesca Chiera sits seventh with 56.09 points.


Séguin and Bilodeau of the host country came out ahead in the pairs short, notching a career-high 71.40 points. The Canadian silver medalists completed a Level 3 triple twist, side-by-side triple loops and a throw triple flip in their "Skokiaan" short, and they'll take a lead of almost four points into the free.

In finishing second, Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran surpassed their previous personal best by almost five points. Skating to "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, the reigning Autumn Classic silver medalists landed their side-by-side triple salchows and well as their throw triple salchow on their way to a segment total of 67.50. They also achieved Level 4's for their combination spin, lift and step sequence.

Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès are known for their sexy programs, and they stayed in their comfort zone with their short to "Earned It" by The Weeknd from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. The four-time French champions hit a little snag when she stepped out of her triple salchow, but the rest of their routine was solid, and they came away with 65.58 points and a third-place finish.

Close behind are Camille Ruest and Andrew Wolfe, who are making their international debut together. The Canadians placed fourth with a score of 64.40.