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Kolyada gets leg up on competition at Finlandia

Tuktamisheva narrowly wins ladies short; Rippon third in competitive return
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Russia's Mikhail Kolyada is in line for his second title of the young season after delivering a winning short program at the Finlandia Trophy. -Getty Images

Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamisheva won the ladies short program Friday at the 2017 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland, while teammate Mikhail Kolyada paces the men's field. In the pairs competition, Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China own a slight lead over Russians Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov.

Ladies

Tuktamisheva, who won this event in 2014, set the pace atop a crowded ladies field by collecting 67.82 points for her short. The 20-year-old delivered a clean program, and the 10 points she earned for her opening triple toe-triple toe combination aided in the Russian taking hold of the lead.

Maria Sotskova landed a triple lutz-triple toe combination to position herself just 0.13 points behind her countrymate with a mark of 67.69. Italy's Carolina Kostner (67.45 points) rounds out the congested top three.

American Angela Wang finished fourth in the segment with 62.54 points, while teammate Polina Edmunds, who returned to competition for the first time since the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, placed 14th with 49.62 points.

Men's

Looking to build on last month's win at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, Kolyada began his visit to Espoo with a strong short program. The 22-year-old -- who finished fourth at this event last season -- was awarded 15.93 points for his quadruple toe-triple toe combination, which helped solidify the Russian's place atop the standings with 90.45 points.

On the strength of a quadruple lutz-triple toe combination, for which he received 18.40 points, Boyang Jin of China positioned himself for a podium finish as well. The 87.15 points he earned for his "A Love Before Time" short placed the two-time world bronze medalist more than three points clear of Adam Rippon, who finished third.

Rippon, who suffered a broken foot in January and hasn't competed since the 2016 Grand Prix Final, executed a triple flip-triple toe and a triple axel en route to securing a segment score of 83.69.

Reigning U.S. silver medalist Vincent Zhou (76.10 points) and fellow American Ross Miner (71.64) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Pairs

Peng and Jin opened their 2017-18 campaign by earning 70.93 points in the segment. The second-year pair delivered side-by-side triple toes and a throw triple loop, key elements that allowed them to take the slimmest of leads over Stolbova and Klimov.

Thanks to their throw triple lutz, the Russian champions remain well within reach of the top spot with 70.12 points. Entering the free skate, the duo sits five points clear of Italy's Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise, who took third in the segment by earning 65.42 points.

One of two pairs from the United States in the field, Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu secured 53.41 points to land sixth in the segment. Their teammates, Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Nathan Bartholomay, finished one spot back with 50.90 points.