Figure Skating

Uno Shoma leads after short program at Challenge Cup in last tune-up before Worlds

Japanese skater overcomes missed jump combination to lead Germany's Jonathan Hess in The Hague. 

By ZK Goh ·

Uno Shoma leads the senior men's event at the 2020 Challenge Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, despite a slight mishap during his short program.

The PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist looked relaxed on the ice, smiling and grinning despite stepping out of his quadruple toe loop on what should have been a combination with a triple toe loop.

Skating to Great Spirit by Armin van Buuren and Vini Vici, the 22-year-old appeared to have grown into his program since he made his coaching link up with Stéphane Lambiel official.

Wearing the same outfit as he did at Japanese nationals, a maroon-and-blue outfit with sparkles, the Nagoya skater scored 91.71 points for his short program.

Germany's Jonathan Hess was second on 76.35 while Uno's teammate Tanaka Keiji was third, scoring 75.54.

Uno Shoma during his short program at the 2019 All Japan Figure Skating Championships

Uno opened with a clean quadruple flip, which had looked off during the six-minute warm-up, before leading into what should have been his combination.

However, he had to step out of the first element of the combo, the quad toe loop.

The Japanese finished his jumps with the required Axel, a triple, before putting in an impressive step sequence and spins.

He received 46.31 for his technical element score and 45.40 for his program component score.

It was a solid, if not perfect, performance from a skater who looks much happier on the ice, having struggled earlier in the season without an official coach, and a good warm-up before next month's World Championships in Montreal.

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