Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating·Updated

Canadian pair Moore-Towers, Marinaro lead at Four Continents

The Canadian duo of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are in the lead after the pairs short program at the Four Continents figure skating championship in Anaheim, Calif.

Duo sit 1st after short program at ISU figure skating event; Ice dancers Weaver, Poje in contention

Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro earned the highest score in the pairs short program at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are in the lead after the pairs short program at the Four Continents figure skating championship in Anaheim, Calif.

The Canadian duo earned a score of 74.66 in Friday's event. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China were not far off the pace at 74.19 and the Chinese pair of Cheng Peng and Yang Jin took third at 69.48.

WATCH | Moore-Towers, Marinaro earn top marks in short program:

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro lead by less than half a point at the ISU Four Continents Championships. 6:42

Two other groups are representing Canada in the eight-team field. Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud finished sixth with 61.91 points, while Camille Ruest and Andrew Wolfe came away with the lowest score at 57.38. 

CBC Sports has live coverage of the entire competition, including the pairs free program on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. 

Close battle in ice dance

Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue scored 81.95 in the rhythm dance to take a narrow lead over U.S. counterparts Madison Chock and Evan Bates who came in at 81.17.

WATCH | Hubbell, Donohue lead after rhythm dance:

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue lead by less than a point heading into the free dance at the Four Continents Championship. 6:39

Canadian partners Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje round out the top three at 80.56.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are also vying for a podium spot and sit in fourth with 78.05 points. 

WATCH | Weaver, Poje sit 3rd after rhythm dance:

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje are less than two points back of the lead at the Four Continents Championships. 6:12

Japan's Rika Kihira rallied to win the women's title after finding herself in fifth place going into Friday night's free skate. She successfully nailed a triple on her first jump and put together a flawless four-minute program set to "Beautiful Storm" by Jennifer Thomas.

"I was hardly able to practice my triple axel in this rink but I was determined, very focused, and kept my concentration," Kihira said.

WATCH | Rika Kihira rallies to victory:

The 16-year-old posted a free skate score of 153.14 as she took home the top spot in the women's program at the ISU Four Continents Championship from Anaheim, California. 8:32

Kihira scored 153.14 points in the free skate and finished with 221.99 points, easily outdistancing Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva by more than 14 points. Her triple axel earned 10.51 points but she also had a pair of combinations that scored well — triple lutz-triple toe loop combination (11.95) and triple lutz-double toe loop-double loop (11.39).

"I was able to leave yesterday's mistake behind. During this season, I learned how to keep my concentration in my free skating no matter what happens in my short program," said Kihira, who won the Grand Prix Final earlier this season.

CBC Sports will have live coverage of the ice dance free program beginning on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. 

With files from The Associated Press

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