Japan’s Kao Miura bettered countryman and world champion Shoma Uno in the short program at Skate Canada, which produced surprise men’s and women’s leaders.
Miura, fourth at last season’s Japan Championships, landed two quadruple jumps in his short program in Mississauga, Ontario. He tallied 94.06 points, distancing Uno by 4.08 going into Saturday’s free skate. Uno botched a planned quad-triple combination.
Uno was the clear No. 1 men’s skater going into the Grand Prix season absent Yuzuru Hanyu (retired), Nathan Chen (indefinite break) and Yuma Kagiyama (injured).
But now Miura, 17, has topped the short program at back-to-back Grand Prix events. He ended up finishing second at last week’s Skate America behind American Ilia Malinin, the talk of the skating world this fall with his quad Axel.
Uno, making his Grand Prix season debut, and Malinin are likely headed toward a showdown at December’s Grand Prix Final. Malinin’s total score of 280.37 from Skate America should be kept in mind on Saturday when Miura and Uno have their free skates.
Americans Camden Pulkinen and Jimmy Ma were fifth and ninth, respectively, in Friday’s short. Pulkinen, fifth at last season’s worlds, doubled a planned opening quad toe loop. Ma fell twice.
Earlier, Madeline Schizas was the surprise women’s short program leader. Schizas, the Canadian champion who was 19th at the Olympics, opened her short with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and totaled 67.90 points.
She edged 2017 World bronze medalist Gabby Daleman, a Canadian competing on the Grand Prix for the first time in three years, by 1.25 points. Ava Ziegler, the U.S. junior silver medalist in her senior Grand Prix debut, was third after a clean short.
The pre-event favorites all had jump errors: You Young of South Korea (fourth place), Rinka Watanabe and Rika Kihira of Japan (sixth and eighth) and American Lindsay Thorngren (10th).
Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, the 2021 World bronze medalists, topped the rhythm dance with 87.23 points, 3.43 points ahead of Brits Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson.
World silver medalists Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara led the pairs’ short, looking for the biggest title ever for a Japanese pairs’ team.
Of note, Canadian junior champions Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar were fourth in their senior Grand Prix debut, skating one hour after and 30 miles west of where McIntosh’s younger sister, Summer, beat Katie Ledecky in a 400m freestyle race in Toronto. Summer swam the second-fastest 400m free time ever in 25-meter pool. Olympic swimming is in 50-meter pools.
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