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Gold overcomes nerves to take Rostelecom short

Top three ladies separated by less than two points; Russians sit fourth, fifth

Gracie Gold holds a slim 0.61-point advantage over Finland's Kiira Korpi.
Gracie Gold holds a slim 0.61-point advantage over Finland's Kiira Korpi. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(11/09/2012) - American Gracie Gold leads after the ladies short program at the Rostelecom Cup, while Finland's Kiira Korpi came in second ahead of Agnes Zawadzki of the U.S.

Skating to "Hernando's Hideaway," Gold nailed a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz and picked up a Level 4 for her three spins. The world junior silver medalist posted a new season's best of 62.16 points.

"I am happy with the way I skated, and I did like the score. So, I'm proud of myself and I hope to continue the same in the long program tomorrow," the 17-year-old said.

"Skate Canada was my first Grand Prix ever and only my third international competition really, and I got very nervous, and I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I wasn't able to skate like in the practices," she added. "But here I just remembered to take a deep breath and do the program just like in practice."

Korpi downgraded her opening combination to a triple toe-double toe but went on to complete a triple loop, double Axel and earned a Level 4 for two spins and her footwork to score 61.55 points.

"I was not 100 percent, and I am disappointed not to do my (triple-triple) combination," the reigning European silver medalist said. "Otherwise, my performance was solid."

Zawadzki's program to Sex and the City 2 included a triple Lutz, triple toe-triple toe and a Level 4 layback spin. The American skater earned 60.18 points.

"I was very happy with my performance today and the way I presented myself," Zawadzki said. "It's my first Grand Prix [of the season]. I love this arena. It's my third time here, and I just love to walk in and see all the colors."

World silver medalist Alena Leonova of Russia sits in fourth at 58.85 points after omitting the double Axel. She is followed by countrywoman Adelina Sotnikova in fifth with 57.11 points.