• Kyodo


Japan’s Fumie Suguri finished top of the second group at the World Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday to share the lead with Michelle Kwan after the women’s qualifying round.

Hoping to improve on a bronze-medal performance at last year’s meet, Suguri overcame a couple of errors in her program to share the lead with four-time world champion Kwan, who topped the qualifiers in the other group.

Suguri cut short a triple rotation midway through her routine and turned a planned triple into a single near the end but did enough to gain first place with Canadian Jennifer Robinson in second and Russia’s Viktoria Volchkova third. Yoshie Onda was fourth.

In Group A, Kwan skated a fluid routine to finish ahead of Elena Sokolova of Russia and fellow American Sasha Cohen. Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa was fourth with Olympic champion Sarah Hughes down in sixth.

The qualifiers count for just 20 percent of the final total. Friday’s short program is worth 30 percent with the remainder from the free program Saturday.

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