Asada finishes first in Skate America short programme

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Former Japanese world champion Mao Asada grabbed the early lead at the Skate America by finishing first in the ladies short programme.

The 23-year-old Asada scored 73.18 points to beat runner-up Ashley Wagner (69.26) of the United States at the Joe Louis Arena.

Asada, who has skated for nearly a decade on the international stage, on Saturday performed her short programme to Chopin’s “Nocturne”. Her skate included a triple Axel.

Skate America is the first of six stages of the International Skating Union-sponsored Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

In the pairs short programme, Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won the short programme over Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.

The men’s free skate and the ice dance free skate also takes place Saturday.

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