KOCKELSCHEUER, LUXEMBOURG – Shoma Uno posted the world’s second-highest ever score to take the lead after the short program at the Coupe du Printemps on Friday.
Uno nailed a quadruple flip, a quad toe loop/triple toe loop combination and a triple axel en route to collecting 104.31 points.
Compatriot Takahito Mura is a distant second with 78.68 and Slavik Hayrapetyan of Armenia was third with 54.63.
“I am happy that I could perform well in a short program that I have been struggling with every year,” said Uno, who had nine points or more in four out of five segments in his program.
“I didn’t just somehow come through it, I skated cleanly without any mistakes for the first time this season. The scores were just what I was expecting.”
Uno received level-fours on his spins and step sequence in his skate to “Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra” at the event which features only five judges instead of the usual nine.
Uno’s score was second behind the world record held by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, who tallied 110.95 points at the 2015 Grand Prix Final.
The men’s free skate will be held on Sunday.
Rika Hongo led after the women’s short program with a score of 59.27 ahead of Hungary’s Ivett Toth (55.35) and Latvia’s Angelina Kuchvalska (51.96).
“I didn’t make any major mistakes but I could not really get a good score,” said Hongo, who under-rotated a triple flip while competing to “Carmina Burana.”
Hongo was given level-fours by the judging panel for her spins, but just a level-three for her step sequence.
Hongo could only manage fifth at the national championships in December and missed out on a place at the world championships.
“It has been a frustrating season,” said Hongo. “This is my last event (of the season) and I want to deliver a satisfactory performance that I can build on next term.”
The women’s free skate is also scheduled for Sunday.