Americans Bradie Tennell and Vincent Zhou are in first place in the ladies’ and men’s short programs at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Anaheim, Calif. after skating Thursday.
Tennell skated clean to score 73.91 points. Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto, who won the event last year, sits in second place with 73.36 points.
“I feel like I performed very well,” Tennell said through U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m extremely happy with how I did. It’s exactly how I train at home and it’s what I wanted to do here, to go out there and trust myself and trust my training.”
Mariah Bell from Team USA is in third place heading into Friday’s free skate with 70.02 points. The third American in the field, Ting Cui, sits in seventh with 66.73 points. Cui received an edge call on her triple flip.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve put out a really solid short program and I have so much more room to grow,” Bell said.
The last U.S. woman to win Four Continents was Polina Edmunds in 2015.
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Later Thursday, Zhou was the only man in the field to crack the 100-point mark, scoring 100.18 points. South Korea’s Junhwan Cha is in second place with 97.33 points and China’s Boyang Jin, who won the event last year, is third with 92.17 points.
“This is my first time breaking 100 in the short in international competition,” Zhou said. “I am very happy with this result. It is a reward and a testimony to the hard work I’ve been putting in.”
Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno is fourth with 91.76 points. The other two Americans in the field, Jason Brown and Tomoki Hiwatashi, sit sixth and ninth, respectively. The men’s free skate is Saturday.
Nathan Chen is the most recent U.S. man to win Four Continents, doing so in 2017. He is not competing at Four Continents but is expected to defend his world title next month in Japan.
As a reminder, you can watch Four Continents and the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.
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