Takahashi Dominates Taipei Figure Skating Championships

World champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan breezed to victory in the men’s competition at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships Saturday, electrifying the crowd with his precision, power and poise.

Aside from missing a quad toeloop at the beginning of his program, the 24-year-old Takahashi was near perfect, scoring a season’s best 160.51 in the free skate for a total of 244.00, after his dominating performance in Friday’s short program.

Fellow Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu, the 2020 world junior champion, was second with 228.01 after scoring a personal best of 151.58 in the free skate. Jeremy Abbott, the 2009 and 2010 U.S. champion, came in third with 225.71 points. His 148.98 in the free program was his best this season.

Earlier Saturday, Miki Ando of Japan established a narrow lead in the short program of the ladies competition, wowing the Taipei crowd with the kind of form that made her world champion in 2007.

Her closest pursuer is compatriot and current world champion Mao Asada, who finished just ahead of Rachael Flatt, the 2010 U.S. national champ.

The ladies free skate program is scheduled for Sunday.

Featuring skaters from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania, the Four Continents is seen as an important prelude to next month’s world championships in Tokyo.