February 9, 2018 / 2:51 AM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-Olympics-Figure skating-Uno dazzles as Japan leads in team programme

(Corrects composer in second para)

By Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber and Elaine Lies

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Shoma Uno dazzled with a series of clean quad jumps and fluid step sequences as Japan took the lead in the men’s short programme of team competition in the opening event of the figure skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Friday.

Skating to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” the 20-year-old was nearly flawless, snapping out a clean set of jumps including a quad toeloop and triple toeloop sequence that drew cheers from the crowd for a whopping 103.25 points.

Israel’s Alexei Bychenko racked up a season’s best of 88.49 to finish second with his skate to “Hava Nagila,” a Jewish folk song.

Canada’s Patrick Chan, who won silver in the individual and team events at Sochi in 2014, struggled with his jumps, taking a tumble on his opening quad toeloop and his triple Axel. He earned 81.66 points to finish third.

“It was not the best but this is the advantage of a team event - it’s what we can each contribute,” Chan told reporters. “If anything, I think I was too eager on the jumps.”

Nathan Chen of the United States hung on to land his opening quad flip but went on to double his quad toeloop and make an uncharacteristic fall on his triple Axel, earning him 80.61 points.

The countries’ pairs for the team event are set to skate their short programmes later on Friday. (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Elaine Lies; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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