Ando edges flip-popping Kim in short
Jump continues to plague Olympic favorite
|Miki Ando leads the ladies after the short program in Tokyo. (Getty Images)|
Ando capitalized on Kim's mishap with a speedy, confident program to Mozart's "Requiem" that included a powerful triple Lutz, double loop combination and triple flip.The Japanese skater had been hitting triple-triples in her practices, but elected to play it safe in competition. She takes 66.20 points into tomorrow's free skate. "[The jump] felt slightly off when I went into the air, so I did a double loop," Ando said. "I really wanted to do that triple-triple! But I went on with my program, and only thought about nailing my triple flip. I also missed my [layback] spin: my left edge slipped."
Russia's Alena Leonova sits third with a personal best 61.60 after an energetic short to a Russian folk dance. Joannie Rochette of Canada stumbled out of the triple Lutz, double toe combination in her stylish Tango program and is fourth with 60.94.Surprise qualifier Akiko Suzuki of Japan is fifth with 57.54 points. Sole U.S. entrant Ashley Wagner is sixth with 54.26 after technical deductions including a downgraded double Axel. "I always expect perfection of myself, so I'm disappointed, but mistakes are not the end of the world," Wagner said. "I am making progress." Lynn Rutherford contributed to this article