Team USA Leads After Ladies and Men's Short Programs at Four Continents Championships

Untitled Document (2/7/19) — Three U.S. skaters are in podium position after the first day of the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019. Competition opened with the ladies and men’s short programs on Thursday night in Anaheim, California.

Bradie Tennell led the way for the U.S. ladies in Anaheim, winning the short program with a season’s best 73.91 points. The 2018 U.S. champion had a clean skate with all positive Grades of Execution.

“I feel like I performed very well,” Tennell said. “I’m extremely happy with how I did. It’s exactly how I train at home and it’s what I wanted to do here, to go out there and trust myself and trust my training.”

Reigning U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell also finished in the top three in the short program, tying her season’s best with 70.02 points. Bell enters the free skate in third place after her clean skate, which included a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination.

“I think it’s the first time I’ve put out a really solid short program and I have so much more room to grow,” Bell said.

In her senior ISU Championship debut, Ting Cui scored 66.73 points for her short program, finishing in seventh place.

“I was a little bit shaky on some things but I’m just happy I was able to go out there and get my jumps done,” Cui said.

Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto rounded out the top three after the short program, finishing second with 73.36 points.

In the men’s competition, Vincent Zhou topped his season’s best score by over 20 points, scoring 100.18 points to win the short program. In his Four Continents debut, the 2019 U.S. silver medalist opened with a quad Lutz-triple toe combination followed by a quad Salchow. He was awarded Level 4 marks on every element.

“This is my first time breaking 100 in the short in international competition,” Zhou said. “I am very happy with this result. It is a reward and a testimony to the hard work I’ve been putting in.”

Jason Brown scored 86.57 points to finish sixth in the short program. The 2019 U.S. bronze medalist had the second highest program component scores of the competition, notching 44.78 points.

“Besides the [triple] Axel [mistake] I’m very proud of the performance,” Brown said. “I do it every day in practices so I’m a bit bummed, but I know it’s going to light another fire within me.”

Also making his senior ISU Championship debut, Tomoki Hiwatashi finished in ninth place after the short program with 76.95 points.

“It wasn’t the best I’ve done, but I’m very satisfied with what I did because it’s my first [ISU senior] Championship competition and I’m very excited to go into the long,” Hiwatashi said.

Going into Saturday’s free skate, Korea’s Junhwan Cha is in second place (97.33) and Boyang Jin of China is in third place (92.17).

Competition continues tomorrow with the pairs short program, rhythm dance and ladies free skate at Honda Center. Fans can watch all segments live through the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold, and live results and updates are available on the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone.