VANCOUVER, CANADA — Kim Yu-Na of Korea skated an electrifying routine to "Danse Macabre" on Wednesday night to rank first after the first phase of the women's competition at the Four Continents figure skating championships, the test event for the Vancouver Olympics.
Another performance like that in the long program Friday would mark her the favorite at the world championships next month in Los Angeles and at the Winter Games.
Kim's short program at the Pacific Coliseum included a triple flip-triple toe loop combination jump that boosted her score to a season-best 72.24, nearly 15 points more than world champion Mao Asada of Japan. Asada is sixth.
Joannie Rochette of Canada was second at 66.90, followed by compatriot Cynthia Phaneuf, at 60.98. Fumie Suguri of Japan is fourth at 60.18.
All three U.S. women stumbled. National champion Alissa Czisny botched the second part of her triple lutz-double toe loop combination and fell on a triple flip, consigning her to seventh. Fellow world team member Rachael Flatt of Del Mar stepped out of the second part of her combination jump and was eighth, at 55.44.
Caroline Zhang of Brea, who didn't make the world team, faltered on her combination but got 58.16 points, to rank fifth.
In ice dancing, world silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada continued their comeback from her leg surgery and performed the top-ranked compulsory routine. Virtue and Moir earned 36.40 points for their bouncy Finnstep, 1.17 ahead of U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier of Canada are third, at 32.43.
In the pairs event, U.S. champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker were seventh with 54.16 points after she fell on the landing of a throw triple loop and he did a double salchow instead of a triple on their side-by-side jumps.
Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China led with 65.60 points after performing an excellent triple lutz twist lift and throw triple loop. Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison of Canada, third at last year's world championships, were second with 64.36, followed by Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang of China (63.20), Canadians Megan Duhamel and Craig Buntin (62.08) and Rena Inoue and John Baldwin of Santa Monica (56.78).