Korpi glides to short program lead in Paris
Nagasu 2.67 out of first; Asada's troubles continue
|Kiira Korpi's elegant short program put her in first place at Trophee Bompard. (Getty Images)|
Finland's former European bronze medalist, who won Nebelhorn Trophy and placed second at Finlandia Cup earlier this season, hit a triple toe, triple toe to open her "Over the Rainbow" program. Although she turned out of the landing of her triple loop, she commanded the highest program components of the competition and earned 61.39, far above her short program score at Cup of China, where she placed fourth overall.
Mirai Nagasu had another strong short to take second with 58.72, just 2.67 off the lead.
Performing to music from The Witches of Eastwick, the U.S. silver medalist looked relaxed and confident, hitting a solid opening triple Lutz, double toe combination followed by a triple flip and double Axel out of an Ina Bauer. Her spins and steps looked sharp, and she earned just .04 less for her performance here than for her winning short program at Cup of China earlier this fall.
Nagasu may be relieved to find herself second; at Cup of China, she told the press how much she hated to enter the free skate in the lead.
Haruka Imai, fifth at Skate Canada, grabbed attention in her short to music from Don Quixote with an opening triple loop-triple toe combination. The Japanese junior silver medalist is third with 58.38 points.
Alissa Czisny, who won Skate Canada after placing fourth in the short program, will have to come from behind again if she wants a medal here. The 2009 U.S. champion doubled and fell out of her opening triple Lutz, but she's still in the hunt with 55.50 points.
World champion Mao Asada continued to struggle to find her form, under rotating and falling out of her triple Axel and falling on her triple flip. Her 50.10 points puts her seventh going in to the free skate.
Asada, who won silver at the Vancouver Olympics in March, now trains under Japanese veteran Nobuo Sato, who has been re-working some of her jump technique.
The final ladies' spot at the Grand Prix Final in Beijing next month will be decided in Paris. A medal finish will qualify Czisny, but if Czisny fails in her quest, Nagasu, fourth at Cup of China; Korpi, fourth at NHK Trophy; and Phaneuf, fourth at Skate Canada, can qualify if they win.