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Murakami bests Chan, Hanyu in Skate Canada short

Olympic gold, silver medalists struggle; Rippon 'happy' to be in third
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Japan's Daisuke Murakami faltered on his opening quad salchow attempt, but the rest of his subdued "Bring Him Home" short was of exceptional quality. The Frank Carroll pupil posted a segment score of 80.88 to take a slim lead. -Getty Images

Double jumps just don't cut it in this era. Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu found that out the hard way in the 2015 Skate Canada men's short program, in which he lost an avalanche of marks for momentary lapses.

Hanyu's quadruple toe loop became a double. New rules in effect this year meant he earned no points for that jump.

Later, he turned a triple lutz-triple toe loop into a triple-double, which meant that, because of the repeated double toe, the entire element was invalidated. Hanyu received a technical elements score of 28.43, the second lowest of the 12 men in the event, plunging him into sixth place.

None of the competitors had perfect performances, but when the dust settled, Daisuke Murakami, the NHK Trophy winner from last year, took the lead with 80.88 points.

Patrick Chan skated early, after having skipped last season. He fell on a triple axel and doubled a triple lutz, for which he received zero points. But his 80.81-point score kept him in second place, only 0.07 points behind Murakami.

Despite a fall on a quad lutz, Adam Rippon is third with 80.36. The top three are in almost a virtual tie.

"I'm happy with the position that I'm in right now," Rippon said. "I'm less than a point from first place. But I am a little bit upset with how the quad went. If it just went a little bit better, I would have been in first place."

Rippon said that he's been training the quad lutz well at home.

"I got here and I haven't landed one," he said. "I sort of feel like Halloween is the day it's going to happen."

In the short program in Lethbridge, his toe slipped out from under him when he picked in for the jump.

"And then I did a dance of shame on the landing and then I fell. And then it was: 'Get up or Rafael [Arutunian] is going to kill you,'" he said.

He found out that he'd finished third when teammate and close friend Ashley Wagner texted him. "LOL," he replied. But it was no joke.

As for Chan, he led off his short program with a magnificent quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination. But a little bobble afterward sent his program out of sorts, like a lineup of dominos. It made him a little late with his music; he actually finished the program after his music ended.

"This program is so challenging," Chan said. "I'm walking a fine line between a highly difficult program transition-wise and (in terms of) character, and it becomes challenging. It makes the jumps harder. So today, it got out of my grasp and control and time with the music."

The bobble killed his momentum, he said.

"And usually I need a lot of momentum and flow into my axel," Chan admitted.

At least, he said, he can identify his mistakes.

"That's the price you pay when you walk that fine line. ... When you can't get everything right on point, the mistakes become quite larger," Chan said.

Canadian champion Nam Nguyen was fourth with 76.10 points after falling on a triple axel.