Sports

Figure skating-Voronov leads in Japan after Hanyu withdraws

Figure skating-Voronov leads in Japan after Hanyu withdraws

The Grand Prix series consists of six events and culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December - the last competition featuring the world's top skaters before the February 9-25 Olympics.

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu wants to get a good measure of how his preparations are going for next year's Pyeongchang Games, so he's aiming high at the NHK Trophy.

Skating to the tango-influenced beat of "Adios Nonino" by Astor Piazzolla, the 30-year-old Voronov wowed the crowd in the western city of Osaka with the height of his jumps, which included a clean quad toeloop and triple toeloop combination as well as a triple axel.

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are leading the pack after the short dance Friday at the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan.

Medvedeva, 17, maintained her lead from the short programme to top the podium with 224.39 points at Osaka's Municipal Central Gymnasium.

"I don't have too many emotions because I still have to do the free skating [Saturday]", Medvedeva said.

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Five-time European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy ranked third in free skating with 137.67 points, but held on to overall second place on 212.24 points.

Kostner doubled a toe loop and fell on a triple salchow. "Now, that some time has passed, I am very happy about how I skated". You have days when it is not so easy and you need to get into that fighting mode.

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold medal in pairs with 234.53.

In the men's singles, Voronov cruise to victory with 271.12 points, while Adam Rippon of the United States surpassed his opponents to make runner-up and Israel's Alexei Bychenko came in third.

Chan had earlier withdrawn to devote himself to practice after a disappointing finish in Skate Canada, the second of six grand prix events. The men's, women's and pairs free skate is on Saturday.

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