PARIS – Kanako Murakami placed fourth in the women’s short program Friday but Nobunari Oda got off to a lackluster start in the men’s competition, placing seventh at the Trophee Bompard, the fifth of six events in the Grand Prix series.
Seventeen-year-old Murakami had a triple combination jump downgraded but nailed a triple toe loop in the short program for the first time en route to 55.77 points.
Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, winner at last month’s Skate Canada, leads with 62.04, with Carolina Kostner of Italy (59.70) and American Alissa Czisny (57.25) finishing second and third, respectively.
“I landed the (triple) loop for the first time in the short program so I am pleased about that and really did well with my steps,” said Murakami. “My boots were not in good condition but I thought I would be OK.”
Oda, runnerup at the Cup of China two weeks ago, opened with a triple axel but lost his way and made a series of errors to sit way off the pace with 62.95, over 20 points behind reigning world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, who scored 84.16. China’s Song Nan (76.53) and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic (74.32) followed in second and third.
“I lacked focus. I’m glad I was able to land the triple axel but after that I took my eye off the ball,” said Oda. “I just have to try and come back in the free skate.”
Chan, who won Skate Canada last month, toppled and fell backward onto the ice after completing a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination skating to “Take Five,” but the Canadian was faultless for the remainder of his program.
“I did a bad quad which happens sometimes, but I was able to get up and gather myself,” Chan said. “I’m very proud of myself. It will be better next time.”
Chan, a two-time Trophee Bompard winner, plans to try an even harder jump in the near future, although he has not yet decided when.
“I’m pretty motivated to try a new quad. I don’t see why I shouldn’t,” he said. “I kind of want to try something harder, something someone’s never done before.”
Chan’s score put him well clear of Song.
“I’ve changed my technique now,” said Song, who also opened with a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop and recorded his season’s best score. “I’m more consistent, which is why I was able to do the quad.”
Tuktamisheva, meanwhile, landed her triple lutz and triple toe loop and gained in confidence throughout her faultless program — although she downplayed her performance.
“The important thing was I made all my jumps,” she said. “I didn’t notice a difference between junior and senior (level). I just want to do my job.”
Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov captured the pairs short program. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada finished second and Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov came third.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada took the ice dance short dance ahead of France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy finished third.