Ashley Cain/Timothy Leduc (USA) snatched a narrow lead in the Pairs Short Program as the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continued in Taipei, Chinese Taipei on Wednesday. Australia’s World Junior Pairs champions Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor are trailing the leaders by just 0.31 points in second place, while Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) are only 1.02 points behind the leaders in third. All three teams set personal bests in the event.
Skating to “I’ll Take Care Of You” by Joe Bonamassa, Cain/Leduc produced a triple twist, throw triple Lutz, side-by-side triple loop and three level-four elements to score 66.76 points.
“We’re very proud of what we did out there. Our main focus was to do this program justice because we’ve had a really tough time over the season with that short program. After the National Championships we went home to work and stayed in shape, and we felt that gave us a lot of confidence out there in that program,” Cain said.
Alexandrovskaya/Windsor’s performance to “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones featured a big level-four triple twist, side-by-side triple toe and a throw triple flip. The Australians collected a level four for all 'level elements' – the twist, the lift, footwork, death spiral and pair combination spin – and earned 66.45 points.
“Obviously we’re super happy with how we skated. It’s good to come back to this ice rink, it feels comfortable for us,” said Windsor, who won the World Junior title with Alexandrovskaya at Taipei Arena less than a year ago.
The 2014 Four Continents silver medalists Kayne/O’Shea completed a triple twist, triple Salchow and a throw triple Salchow in their routine to “All I Ask of You” from “The Phantom of the Opera” to score 65.74 points.
“This season has been a long journey. We’re excited to have another step in the right direction with our performance today, and we look forward to keeping it going,” O’Shea said.
Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) also turned in a clean performance to come fourth with a personal best of 65.25 points, while 2017 Four Continents bronze medalists Liubov Ilyushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) are ranked fifth after Ilyushechkina doubled the toeloop (64.50 points). Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay (USA) round up the top six (60.93 points).
Kyueun Kim/Alex Kang Chan Kam (KOR) withdrew from the event before the Short Program due to a shoulder injury for Kam.