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MOSCOW — Olympic champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea made a dramatic return to competition on Friday, taking the lead after the short program at the figure skating world championships.
Alissa Czisny of Bowling Green wasn’t too far behind after a solid performance.
In her first competition since last year’s worlds, Kim scored 65.91 points despite stepping out of her opening triple lutz. She made a quick recovery, tacking a double toe loop onto her triple flip to complete the required combination, and rounded off her “Giselle” routine with clinical precision.
“I’ve been doing clean short programs at home, so I was disappointed I didn’t do a clean short program in the competition ... but I’m in first and I’m satisfied,” Kim said.
In the ice dance, reigning Olympic and world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won the short dance to take a slight lead over main rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States. The championships end today with the free dance and the women’s free program.
Japan’s Miki Ando closely trails Kim with 65.58 points, and Russia’s Ksenia Makarova was third.
U.S. champion Czisny was fourth after a flowing and assured performance, a slight wobble on a triple flip her only concern.
“I was nervous going into the short program today. My last two world championships short programs weren’t so great and I wanted to go out and skate my best,” said Czisny, who has resurrected her career since switching to Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen after last season. “I fought for everything in my program so I was satisfied.”
Rachael Flatt of the United States could only manage eighth after downgrading her opening combination to a triple-double and doubling a lutz.