The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2012 continued Friday in Colorado Springs, USA, with the Ladies Short Program and the Men's Free Skating.

Mao Asada (JPN) leads Ladies after Short Program
Mao Asada of Japan leads the Ladies after the Short Program followed by Ashley Wagner (USA) and Japan's Kanako Murakami. The top three Ladies are seperated by less than one point.

Performing to Sheherazade, Asada went for the triple Axel, but she underrotated and two-footed it. The two-time World Champion went on to produce a triple flip-double loop combination, a triple loop and picked up a level four for the three spins and the footwork. The reigning Four Continents silver medalist scored 64.25 points, just below her seasons best. My biggest goal for this competition is including the triple Axel and at least I tried it. It wasn't perfect but I'm pretty happy to land the triple Axel, Asada noted.

Wagner's routine to Pollock by Jeff Beal featured a wobbly triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple loop and three level-four spins. The U.S. Champion posted a new seasons best with 64.07 points. Today went very well for me. I tried the triple-triple and got full credit for it, so that was a huge accomplishment for me. The quality of it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, but still overall, I think it was a good solid performance and something that was great for me to put out after nationals and I think that it was very important that I had the performance that I did today, Wagner commented.

Murakami completed a triple toe-triple toe, triple flip and double Axel in her routine to Violin Muse to earn 63.45 points, a new seasons best. I am happy to have skated without mistake. However, the double Axel wasn't as secure as I would have liked it to be and I want to do it better tomorrow. I had a really tough start to season, but after I switched my boots things are going up hill. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I would reach the World Championships. Today's performance, I was pretty happy with that. If I perform a good free tomorrow, I can go into Worlds with pretty good confidence, the 2010 World Junior Champion said.

Caroline Zhang (USA) came fourth with 58.74 points. She hit a triple flip but stumbled out of her triple loop-triple loop combination. Kexin Zhang (CHN) landed a triple toe-triple toe to place fifth with 54.07 points. Agnes Zwadzki (USA) is currently ranked sixth with 52.87 points.

Patrick Chan (CAN) strikes gold
Patrick Chan of Canada struck gold at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan claimed the silver medal and Ross Miner of the USA surged from sixth to capture the bronze.

Overnight leader Chan turned in a strong performance to Concerto de Aranjuez, reeling off a quad-triple toeloop combination, another quad toe, triple Axel and five triple jumps. With 185.99 points the World Champion improve his seasons best by 12.32 points and totaled 273.94 points. Today I actually felt pretty nervous going into the long, more nervous than I've been in a long time. I was very happy. I stayed focused after a rough practice this morning. I took the time to rest and I did the elements really well. I learned a lot this week, Chan told the press. I can say that training here is different than actually competing here. I didn't have an advantage of training here. I hit the wall at a point going into the last spin before the last triple Lutz. I was quite dead, the Canadian explained. For Daisuke and I, going to Worlds, it gives us confidence that it will be easier. I told myself going into my last spin that this is going to be the hardest of them all, he concluded.

Takahashi two-footed his opening quad toe and singled the first Axel in his routine to Blues for Klook but rallied back to nail six triples and two level-four spins. The 2010 World Champion scored 161.74 points and moved up from third to second at 244.33 points. My performance was not so good, I missed two jumps. But the audience helped me and I enjoyed tonight a lot, Takahashi said. Between nationals and Worlds there is a lot of time so I'm glad to compete here in between. There was also a big gap between me and Patrick which gives me motivation to work harder, he added.

Skating to The Untouchables, Miner produced six triples inlcuding two Axels but missed one triple Lutz. The 21-year-old earned a seasons best score of 146.34 points which added up to 223.23 points overall. Today was pretty unexpected result-wise. I had a long wait. When I got on the ice, I felt cold. The whole performance felt a little off then the results came up and whoa! That's cool. I didn't expect that, Miner noted.

Adam Rippon (USA) pulled up from seventh to fourth at 221.55 points and was ranked third in the Free Skating. He crashed on a downgraded quad Salchow but landed seven triple jumps. Takahito Mura (JPN) dropped from second to fifth at 217.16 points and Denis Ten (KAZ) came sixth with 210.03 points.

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2012 continue Saturday with the Short Dance, Pairs Short Program and Ladies Free Skating.

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