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U.S. takes lead at figure skating's World Team Trophy

Two-time world champion Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou combined for a 1-2 finish in the men's short program Thursday to give the United States the lead on the opening day of figure skating's World Team Trophy.

Canada's Weaver, Poje finish 5th in rhythm dance for country's best result

American Nathan Chen skated to first in the men's short program to help the U.S. take the lead on the first day of the figure skating World Team Trophy on Thursday in Fukuoka, Japan. (Toru Hanai/The Associated Press)

Two-time world champion Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou combined for a 1-2 finish in the men's short program Thursday to give the United States the lead on the opening day of figure skating's World Team Trophy in Fukuoka, Japan.

Skating to "Caravan" by Duke Ellington, Chen, a full-time student at Yale, landed a triple axel, a quadruple toe loop and a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination for 101.95 points.

Zhou, the world bronze medalist, opened with a quadruple lutz-triple toe loop combination and added a quad salchow and a triple axel to finish second with 100.51 points. Shoma Uno of Japan was third with 92.78.

The U.S. leads with 50 points, two ahead of Japan and 12 ahead of third-place Russia.

Rika Kihira of Japan opened with a flawless triple axel and finished first in the women's short program with 83.97 points. Russian skater Elizaveta Tuktamysheva was second with 80.54, followed by Kaori Sakamoto of Japan with 76.95.

The American women earned 17 team points as Bradie Tennell scored a season's best 74.81 in her short program to finish in fourth place.

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue, also world bronze medalists, were third in the rhythm dance.

Team Canada results

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., posted Canada's best finish placing fifth in the rhythm dance.

In the men's short, Nam Nguyen of Toronto was seventh and Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., finished ninth.

In the women's short, Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., took seventh spot and Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was 11th.

The countries ranked one through six on the ISU team standing qualified for the event. Team Canada is seeded sixth.

Canada took silver at the inaugural team event in 2009, bronze in 2012 and silver in 2013.

Six countries are competing in the sixth edition of the World Team Trophy. The others are France, Italy and Canada.

The United States has won the event three times, in 2009, 2013 and 2015, while Japan took top honours in 2012 and in 2017.

The competition continues Friday and concludes on Saturday.

With files from CBC Sports

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