Canadian women well back at figure skating worlds

It was a rough day for Canadians at the world figure skating championships in Tokyo on Friday.

It was a rough day for Canadians at the world figure skating championships in Tokyo on Friday.

Yu-Na Kim, a 16-year-old from South Korea, led after the women's short program by earning a record 71.95 points, ahead of Japan's Miki Ando (67.98) and Italy's Carolina Kostner (67.15).

Defending world champion Kimmie Meissner of the United States posted a personal best of 64.67 and was fourth. Japan's Mao Asada, whose record of 69.50 was broken by Kim, sat fifth with 61.32.

Canadian champion Joannie Rochette was 16th (49.85) and Canadian silver medallist Mira Leung was 20th (47.05).

Rochette, a 21-year-old from Ile Dupas, Que., fell while gliding backwards on a straight line step sequence.

"It's very disappointing to make that kind of mistake," said Rochette, who finished seventh at last year's competition. "It's never happened to me in the senior ranks.

"I was off on some of my jumps, too. You could see me stumbling here and there. It's really disappointing to have a score like that, at worlds especially."

Even though she's well back, Rochette thinks she can still reach the medal podium.

"It's going to be really tough because I have to put tonight behind me. It's going to be a real challenge but I know I can do it," she said.

Leung lost marks for an under-rotated double Axel.

The 2006 world junior champion, Kim, spent last month in Toronto where she was being coached by former Canadian and world champion Brian Orser. The South Korean's performance didn't seem to suffer, even though she is battling a back injury.

"I was so proud of her because it's been a really tough month, but she's feisty and loves to compete," said Orser.

"She proved that [Friday]. It's the first time for me to be at a world championship on this side of the boards and you're always a little nervous about the unknown but she certainly made my first experience pretty nice."

With files from the Canadian Press