Rippon leads after men's short program

Triple flip-triple toeloop puts Rippon on top

Adam Rippon grabbed the lead in the men's short program.
Adam Rippon grabbed the lead in the men's short program. (Paul Harvath)


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By Klaus-Reinhold Kany, special to
(02/27/2008) - The second day of the 2008 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships kicked off with the men's short program. The field was comprised of 47 men vying for one of the 24 available free skate program spots. Overall, most of the men skated well, but it was American Adam Rippon from Hackensack, N.J., who came out on top.

Rippon's short program included an exceptional combination of a triple flip and triple toeloop.

"The competition here was very strong," Rippon commented. "Just to be part of such a great and big competition here is already an honor in itself. I am happy that I did as best as I could. My main goal here is to skate two clean programs. I am aware that Brandon [Mroz]does the triple Axel very well, as many other skaters here. But all I can do is skate as well as I did today without the triple Axel."

Artem Borodulin from Moscow is second, trailing Rippon by 3.19 points. He executed a combination of a triple Lutz and triple toeloop.

"I am very pleased with my performance today, because I broke my foot shortly before the junior final. I was able to recover and get in shape to skate at this competition," explained Borodulin. "I restarted doing steps on the ice in early January, and have only been jumping about a month. I think if you want to move to seniors you need a triple Axel. So, I will do the triple Axel tomorrow in the free skate."

The only skater who did a clean triple Axel as part of his combination was Brandon Mroz, who wound up third. Despite landing the risky move, Mroz was marked lower that the other top-two skaters in artistic expression.

"I think it was a great event today," said Mroz. "I am pleased with how I skated. My Axel is very solid, so I added it into the program. I definitely wanted to challenge with a strong triple Axel-triple toeloop. It was great that I did it today."

Jinlin Guan from China was fourth, and Czech skater Michal Brezina was fifth.

The third American, Tommy Steenberg, finished sixth. Seven of his elements were good, including a combination of a triple Lutz and triple toeloop.

"I am happy with my performance today," said Steenberg. "I am happy with my combination and that I could stay focused the whole time."