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Japan takes control on Day 1 at Lombardia Trophy

Uno, Higuchi lead respective disciplines; Zabijako, Enbert set pairs pace
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Shoma Uno picked up right where he left off last season, winning the short program by a wide margin at the Lombardia Trophy. -Getty Images

Shoma Uno and Wakaba Higuchi skated career-best programs en route to grabbing the lead in men's and ladies, respectively, at the 2017 Lombardia Trophy in Bergamo, Italy. Natalja Zabijako and Alexander Enbert of Russia won the pairs short program.


Higuchi set a new personal best by almost three points for her Don Quixote short. The big point-earner for her was a triple lutz-triple toe performed in the second half of the program, which garnered 12.17 points for the reigning Japanese silver medalist, and she will carry a 2.59-point lead into Friday's free skate.

Sitting in second place is Carolina Kostner, who racked up 71.67 points for her "Ne me quitte pas" short. Despite landing only a triple-double combination, the ageless Italian skated clean and was awarded the highest program components score (36.80) of the field.

Slotting in just behind Kostner is Alina Zagitova, who is making her senior international debut in Bergamo. She landed a triple lutz-triple loop combo in her short to music from Black Swan and Moonlight but fell on her double axel. Still, the 15-year-old Russian recorded a new personal-best score of 71.29.

Americans Bradie Tennell (64.34) amd Amber Glenn (57.44) sit fifth and eighth, respectively.


Picking up right where he left off last season, Uno landed a quad flip and a quad toe-triple toe in his short to "Winter" from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. His score of 104.87 was one one-hundredth of a point higher than his previous personal best, and the reigning world silver medalist bested the field by almost 22 points in the segment.

The long-awaited debut of Jason Brown's Hamilton program didn't go quite as planned, as the U.S. bronze medalist fell on his opening quad toe attempt and two-footed his triple axel. He will bring 83.01 points into Saturday's free skate.

On his way to procuring a segment total of 82.30, Brendan Kerry attempted two quads, landing one cleanly, in his "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" short. The Aussie is seeking his first Challenger Series medal.

The other American man at the event, Jordan Moeller, landed in seventh after being awarded 70.75 points for his short to Vanessa-Mae's "Tribal Gathering."


Zabijako and Enbert tallied 69.22 points for a clean performance of their short program, which featured side-by-side triple toes and a throw triple loop. The Russian bronze medalists will take a 2.56-point lead into Friday's free skate.

Occupying the second spot in the standings are Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise, who earned a score of 66.66. Like the leaders, the two-time Italian champions earned positive Grades of Execution for all seven of their elements, which included side-by-side triple salchows and a throw triple loop.

Credited with landing only double salchows at the start of their routine, Italian silver medalists Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek find themselves in third place after amassing 61.32 points.

The side-by-side triple flips and throw triple lutz that Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc performed were a bit scratchy, and the U.S. bronze medalists sit firmly in fourth after accruing 60.56 points on the day.