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Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN, told reporters after his record setting Short Program, “I took it one element at a time…I wasn’t trying to clear 100 points. I was just trying to turn in the best performance I possibly could…and I did.” He scored 101.45.

Hanyu opened with a 4T, then added a 3Lz+3Tcombination and 3A in the second half of the program to receive a10% bonus reward. The three jumps earned 37.26 points

The 19 year old, who trains in Canada, leads the 23 year old who was born in Canada.

Patrick Chan, in second place, had a miscue on his 3A, but landed a solid 4T+3T combination and 3 Lz. “I like being second. I like being in the chase,” smiled the Canadian National Champion.

Javier Fernandez, ESP, was in third place, a distant 14 points behind the leader. The European gold medalist also trains in Toronto under the tutelage and watchful eye of 1988 Olympic silver medalist, Brian Orser.  Fernandez’s jump passes included a clean 3A and a 4S and 3L+3T combination, both of which received negative GOE marks.

Fernandez carries a lot of weight on his shoulders.  “I feel the pressure for the Olympics from all the Spanish speaking world,” he confessed to an NBC commentator.

Daisuke Takahashi, JPN, is in fourth place, just .58 points behind Fernandez. The 2010 Olympic silver medalist under rotated his 4T, but followed with a solid 3A and 3Lz+3T combination.

Takahashi placed fifth at Japanese National but was sent to Sochi instead of the bronze medalist.

Peter Liebers, GER, is fifth.  The 25 year old earned a personal best 86.04 points for the Lori Nichol choreographed program performed by Coldplay. Liebers opened with a solid 4T+3T combination earning 15.61 points. He added a 3A and 3 Lz.

The German champion splits his training between Berlin and Toronto, Canada.

US silver medalist, Jason Brown, 19, placed sixth and secured a spot in the final flight for the Free Programs. The teenager doesn’t have a quad in his arsenal, but that didn’t hold him back from competing with the “big boys”. He earned a personal best 86.00 points.

In addition to his artistic presentation, Brown also had a cheerleader for his music selection.  Johnnie Weir, two-time US National Champion said, “The kid’s got Moxie to show up at the Olympics skating to Prince.”

At the end of the evening, first and second place stood together high a top the leader board, but only 5.89 points separated third place from thirteenth.

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Skate Today was created in November 2004 to showcase the people of the skating world, skaters and coaches and others, who make figure skating and ice dancing a pleasure to watch for fans from around the world. The goal was to create a site that would give viewers an insight into the personalities of the people involved in this sport and to give you a more personal connection when watching them live at an event or on the television. Our staff knows how much time and dedication is put into this sport and that's why Skate Today was created.

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