Kazakhstan's Denis Ten leads the men's competition at the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships after delivering a stunning performance in the short programme to lead the field by nearly ten points, at the Mokdong ice rink in Seoul.
With the free programme scheduled for Saturday (February 14), the 2014 Sochi bronze medallist has a commanding lead in the overall standings, with his short programme giving him a season's best score of 97.16 in the event open to skaters from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania.
His skate got off to a perfect start with a flawlessly executed quad toeloop and the 2011 Asian Winter Games gold medallist continued his routine in similar vain to leave his rivals with plenty of work to do in the free programme.
"I am relieved that I was able to show high quality skating," Ten said.
"The progress is quite obvious and I think that's what is important for me and for my coach.
"It is a great start, but the competition isn't over yet."
Trailing in Ten's wake was 17-year-old Shoma Uno of Japan, who lies second with 88.90 points, narrowly ahead of Yan Han of China's 87.34 points.
Japan's Takahito Mura, the defending Four Continents champion, lies fourth with 84.29 points.
There were season-best performances throughout the day on the ice, including in the pairs, with Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford seeing their performance in the short programme awarded 75.67 points from the judges.
"We were more nervous than usual before we went to skate," Radford said.
"I think it might be because Four Continents in the past for us has been a bit of a struggle.
"It's a nice relief to have that type of skate."
Three Chinese teams sit poised behind the Canadians, with Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao second with 69.81 points, Sui Wenjing and Han Gong third with 69.19 and five-times Four Continents winners Pang Qing and Tong Jian lying in fourth.
In the short dance competition Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States lead the way, after the pair set a new personal best score of 70.39 points, with their team-mates Maia and Alex Shibutani second and Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje third, on 69.65 and 68.31 points respectively.
"This was definitely our best short dance so far in competition and we're very happy that we could do it head at Four Continents," Chock said.
"We just want to skate our best, even better than every competition we had before.
"We made some changes to each programme and we're excited to put them out here."
The ISU Four Continents Championships is due to continue tomorrow with the free dance and ladies short programme events at the venue in the South Korean capital.
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