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Farris flies ahead of Kovtun, Brown in men's short

American steadies himself after bobble; Brown lands first-ever triple Axel in competition

Joshua Farris rebounded from a stumble on his opening triple Axel to win the short program by two points over Maxim Kovtun.
Joshua Farris rebounded from a stumble on his opening triple Axel to win the short program by two points over Maxim Kovtun. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(12/06/2012) - Joshua Farris of the United States won the men's short program Thursday at the 2012 Junior Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia. Maxim Kovtun of Russia and American Jason Brown followed in second and third, respectively.

Skating to "Suite for Cello No. 1" by Yo-Yo Ma, Farris stumbled on his opening triple Axel but recovered to land a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and a triple flip, as well as earn a Level 4 for two spins and footwork.

The world junior silver medalist scored a season-best 74.53 points.

"I'm happy with that skate. There was a little bobble, but that means there is room for improvement," Farris said. "I can keep working toward the next competition, which is nationals."

Kovtun's performance to Lawrence of Arabia was highlighted by a triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toe combination, but the triple flip was shaky.

The 17-year-old Russian picked up 72.53 points.

"During the performance, I had a great support from the audience. There is a hard moment for me in the jump combination, and sometimes I miss this element, but this time I did it -- that's because of the people's support," Kovtun said.

Brown produced a triple Axel (the first one he's landed in competition), triple Lutz-triple toe and Level 4 spins in his routine to "The Question of U" by Prince, but he did only a double flip and stumbled on it.

The defending Junior Grand Prix Final champion received a season's best of 69.43 points.

"I was really excited that I've started my first competition right. I had a clean (triple) Axel, and doing it in a program was very exciting," Brown said. "I wish I did the flip, but I slipped it a bit and did a double. That is something I'd want to improve."

Ryuju Hino of Japan came fourth with 67.55 points, followed by his teammate, Keiji Tanaka (61.74), and China's Boyang Jin (60.73).