The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2012 opened Thursday in Colorado Springs, USA, with the Men's Short Program. 100skaters from 17 ISU members are competing at the Championships.

Patrick Chan (CAN) takes Men's Short Program
Canada's Patrick Chan took the lead in the Men's Short Program followed by Takahito Mura and Daisuke Takahashi of Japan.

Skating to Take Five, Chan stumbled badly on his opening quad toe but recovered to land a triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toe combination. The reigning World Champion scored a seasons best with 87.95 points. It was a little shaky, it wasn't perfect. On the warm-up I felt a little off balance. My blades weren't really grounded to the ice, the Grand Prix Final Champion admitted. I was able to regain my focus after the quad, a rough landing. My goal is just to get through the long program. With the altitude here, even though I train here, it's still tough for me. My goal is to make sure I focus on the jumps and the elements of the jumps, landing well. What's key is to stay breathing and relax in the moment, he continued.

Mura was the only man to hit a quad-triple toe combination and also landed the triple Axel and a triple Lutz in his routine to Red Violin. He posted a new personal best sccore of 83.44 points. I am very surprised to be placed above Daisuke, the 20-year-old commented. But as far as the content of the program, I thought it was the best of the season and I hope to place well tomorrow.

Takahashi's program to Garden of Souls featured a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and two level-four spins, but he fell on an underrotated quad toe. The 2010 World Champion picked up 82.59 points. I missed the quad, but I'm still here so I'm happy; Takahashi said. Actually I wasn't watching Patrick (Chan), so I didn't know he missed the quad. Going into the Worlds I felt it was very important to perform the quad, so it was not because what Patrick did; I had already decided to perform the quad here, he added.

Tatsuki Machida (JPN) completed a strong showing for the Japanese men by placing fourth with a strong performance that included a triple Axel and triple flip-triple toe combination (82.37 points). Denis Ten (KAZ) sits in fifth at 77.73 points and Ross Miner (USA) came sixth at 76.89 points.

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2012 continue Friday with the Ladies Short Program and the Men's Free Skating.

For more information, full entry lists and results please see: and