The #2017 Four Continents #Figure Skating Championships kicked off Feb. 16 at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, South Korea as the women's singles, pairs, and ice dancers contested the #Short Program round of the competition. By day's end, a handful of American skaters stood in good position to claim podium finishes. Here's a look at the 2017 4CC results from day one.
Canadians lead women's field at 2017 Four Continents Championships
Without the consistently powerful Russian women's contingent on the ice, American skaters Mariah Bell, reigning 4CC silver medalist Mirai Nagasu, and newly crowned national champion Karen Chen entered the competition as legitimate medal threats, but none skated a clean program. Nagasu fared the best of the three by posting a fifth-place worthy 62.91. She trails leader (68.25) Gabrielle Daleman --who bested fellow Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond by a razor-thin margin of .04 for gold medal position-- by seven points. Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva is third (66.87), while Japan's Mai Mihara (66.51) is just off the podium in fourth entering the free skate. Bell is seventh (61.21) while Chen placed just 12th (55.60).
Virtue/Moir are tops, Shib Sibs second
According to 2017 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships results posted for ice dancing, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the short dance in Gangneung with a 79.75. US national and reigning 4CC champions Maia and Alex Shibutani finished three points and change behind them (76.59), while another American pair --Madison Chock and Evan Bates-- placed third (74.67). The third and final couple in the mix for Team USA --Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue-- enter the free dance in fourth (73.79). Two-time Grand Prix Final gold medalists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada round out the top five (71.15).
Chinese skaters lead pairs competition
Finally, in 2017 4CC pairs competition, the Chinese duos of Wenjing Sui and Cong Han and Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang placed one-two in the short with respective marks of 80.75 and 75.20. They hold a slim advantage over a trio of Canadian teams --Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (74.31), Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch (73.04), and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro (70.89)-- who enter the free skate ranked third through fifth. Americans Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim placed sixth (69.10) after a long absence from competition.
The 2017 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will resume at 1:30 PM local time today in Gangneung with the free dance. The men's singles short, featuring Americans Nathan Chen, Jason Brown, and Grant Hochstein will follow.