Gachinski triumphs in short program

Russian skater holds off Hanyu, Abbott

Russian skater Artur Gachinski won the short program by less than three decimal points.
Russian skater Artur Gachinski won the short program by less than three decimal points. (Getty Images)


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(11/04/2011) - Artur Gachinski skated effortlessly to a melodic "Saint Louis Blues," beginning with a strong quad toe-triple toe followed by a triple Axel and finishing with 81.64 points. He will enter Saturday's free skate with a darker program, as he skates to music from Dracula and Interview with the Vampire.

The 18-year-old Gachinski was one of four men who attempted quads during the short program. Despite his technical prowess in smoothly transitioning from a spread eagle into a triple Axel, Gachinski's choreography was not up to the level of that of Japan's Nobunari Oda and American Jeremy Abbott.

"It was quite a good performance today, as I landed all my jumps. I had positive emotions, and I did almost everything in my spins. I am very happy that it was a successful day for me," Gachinski said.

World bronze medalist Gachinski was followed by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, who finished with 81.37 points. He started out with a quad toe followed by a flawless triple Axel and ended with a wobbly triple flip-triple toe. Hanyu followed his own footsteps from last season's Four Continents Championships, squeezing American Jeremy Abbott into third place with a stronger technical program.

Hanyu skated to an emotional Etude in D sharp minor "Patetico" by Alexander Skriabin, which landed him only 0.27 points behind Gachinski. Both Hanyu and Gachinski gave strong technical performances Friday night but will be on the lookout for Abbott on Saturday, as he surpassed them in choreography and performance execution in his upbeat swing program.

The Rostelecom Cup bronze medalist from last year captured third place on Friday with 79.32 points, finishing with a clean performance that included a triple flip-triple toe and a triple Axel and a barely landed triple Lutz. His teammate, American Richard Dornbush, finished with 62.93 points in eighth place after flubbing his triple Lutz and triple Axel.