Messing, Seguin/Bilodeau fifth after short programs at NHK Trophy

OSAKA, Japan – Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., and the pairs combo of Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., stand fifth after Friday’s short programs at the NHK Trophy figure skating competition – the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

In men’s competition, Sergei Voronov of Russia is first at 90.06 with Alexei Bychenko of Israel second at 85.52 and Jason Brown of the U.S. third at 85.36. Messing is still in the medal hunt at 80.13.

‘’My main goal for today was to go out there and have a blast,’’ said Messing. ‘’The crowd was very receptive to my performance. I was glad to land the quad triple-toe and it was the first time this week I’d fallen on my triple Axel.’’

Nam Nguyen of Toronto is 11th.

In pairs, world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China are first at 79.43 followed by two Russian teams. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov are second at 75.05 and Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov third at 70.47.

Séguin and Bilodeau totalled 63.98. They had trouble on the side-by-side jumps but looked strong on the triple twist lift and triple throw.

‘’It wasn’t a performance that shows what we can do,’’ said Séguin, who missed part of last season due to a concussion. ‘’Overall though we have a good feeling. It’s a work in progress.’’

In women’s competition, world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia tops the field. Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is 12th.

Competition continues Saturday with the free skates for men, women and pairs and the short dance featuring Canadian world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The free dance is Sunday.

Full results: ISU GP NHK Trophy 2017

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