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Mao, Kozuka second after short programs

Compiled From Kyodo, AP

PARIS — World champion Mao Asada placed second to Canada’s Joannie Rochette in the short program at the Trophee Bompard in Paris on Friday night after underrotating a triple-triple combination jump in her first competition this season.

Mao tried a triple flip-triple toe loop combination at the beginning of her performance. She executed the first part flawlessly but managed only one toe loop, pushing her into second place with 58.12 points after Rochette, who scored 59.54.

Mao will seek her sixth Grand Prix title with a come-from-behind victory in Saturday’s free skate at the Trophee Bompard, this season’s fourth event in the Grand Prix series.

“My performance was not so good. I could not perform with a strong feeling,” Mao said. “I don’t know why but my body does not move without a strong feeling.

“I want to perform (at the free skate) while forgetting today’s results,” she said. “I’ll confirm closely in practice and perform without thinking too much.”

Rochette fell attempting a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, but recovered well.

“When I went into my first flip, I don’t know what happened,” Rochette said. “Jumps happen so fast you don’t have time to think. My practice was going well. When you go into a competition it’s a different thing.”

The top three all looked shaky, with Caroline Zhang pulling out of her double axel attempt but still scoring enough with 51.76 to head off fellow American Beatrisa Liang at 49.60.

“On the double axel it was just a surprise,” Zhang said, adding that she needs to concentrate much better “on my spins and spirals” heading into the decisive free program.

In the men’s short program, Takahiko Kozuka, who won his first Grand Prix title at Skate America in October, is second behind Canada’s Patrick Chan.

Kozuka tried a flying sit spin but fell after successfully performing a triple-triple combination jump and a triple axel. He scored 77.00 and ranked second after Chan, who scored 81.39.

“It was good I could jump properly, but I regret that I fell while trying a spin,” Kozuka said. “I want to perform at the free skate with confidence.”

Chan hit near-perfect landings on a triple axel, a triple flip-triple toe loop and a triple lutz in quick succession for 81.39.

Kozuka was second with 77.00, and 2006 champion Brian Joubert of France was third with 73.75.

“I did everything I planned to do. Luckily this time I didn’t make any mistakes on footwork,” said the 17-year-old Chan, whose previous best this season was 77.47.

Joubert’s high-octane performance got off to a poor start when his attempted quad toe loop-triple toe loop failed.

In pairs, world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany had a season-best score of 68.18 to lead Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov of Russia on 64.84.

Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin of Canada were third with 58.66.

In ice dance, world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France dominated the compulsory program and placed third in original dance to keep the overall lead with 93.21 points.