Grand debut! Lipnitskaia takes Cup of China short

Russian phenom squeaks by Japan's Mao Asada for lead in ladies short program

World junior champion Julia Lipnitskaia proved to be a major threat on the senior level.
World junior champion Julia Lipnitskaia proved to be a major threat on the senior level. (Getty Images)


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By International Skating Union
(11/02/2012) - Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia captured the lead in the ladies short program, ahead of Japan's Mao Asada and Team USA's Mirai Nagasu at Cup of China.

Skating to "Sabre Dance," Lipnitskaia hit a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, a triple flip, double Axel and Level 4 spins. The world junior champion amassed 63.06 points in her short.

"Today, I liked everything in my program. I did everything I wanted to do and now I am a little unexpected in first place," the 14-year-old said. "My goal is to be in the top three here so I have a chance to qualify for the Grand Prix Final."

Performing to "I Got Rhythm" by George Gershwin, Asada completed a double Axel, triple loop and her spins, and the footwork garnered a Level 4. However, the Olympic silver medalist under-rotated the triple flip and was edged out for first place by less than one point at 62.89 points.

"This is my first competition of the season, and I was nervous," the two-time world champion said. "But it was good, I performed like in practice."

Nagasu produced a double Axel, triple loop and strong spins, but under-rotated the back end of her triple toe-triple toe combination to score 59.67 points.

"I'm happy that I improved on Finlandia Trophy, where I fell on my toe-toe, and this time I only put my foot down," Nagasu said. "That's a big improvement, and my points were lot higher."

Kiira Korpi of Finland finished fourth, while China's Zijun Li placed fifth. Canadian Amélie Lacoste settled into sixth place.