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Takahashi battles through short, salvages lead

Five-time Japanese champ wins segment despite struggles; Machida settles into second

Japan's Daisuke Takahashi carries a modest lead into the men's free skate.
Japan's Daisuke Takahashi carries a modest lead into the men's free skate. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(11/02/2012) - Daisuke Takahashi of Japan grabbed a narrow lead in the men's short program at Cup of China, edging out teammate Tatsuki Machida by 1.31 points. Russia's Sergei Voronov came third.

Takahashi two-footed and under-rotated his quad toe but hit a triple Lutz-triple toe combination as well as a triple Axel and two Level 4 spins in his rock 'n' roll program. The world silver medalist scored 84.79 points.

"It was not so good. I missed my quad, my spins and my steps were not correct, but the audience was very supportive," Takahashi said.

Machida's routine to "F.U.Y.A" by C2C was highlighted by a triple Axel, triple flip-triple toe combination and fast, well-centered spins. With 83.48 points, the Japanese set a new season's best for himself.

"I was a little nervous, but I did my best," he said. "My condition was not so good after Skate America. I was a little tired physically and mentally, but I practiced in Japan before this competition and I took a rest, which was very good for me."

Voronov completed a quad toe-triple toe combination, a triple Axel and a triple loop in his program to Glière's "Russian Sailor's Dance" to earn 73.58 points.

"This is my first competition after my injury [in the] world championships, and almost everything was perfect," he said. "This is a success for me."

Adam Rippon of the U.S. placed fourth, but stands within striking distance of the podium with 71.81 points. China's Nan Song was fifth with 70.86 points, and Kevin Reynolds of Canada landed in sixth with 69.87 points. France's Brian Joubert ended up in seventh place after missing two jumps and posting 63.27 points.