SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten took a commanding lead Thursday after the men's short program at the Four Continents figure skating competition.
The Kazakh skater scored 97.61 points, beating his former personal best of 92.51. Ten, 21, landed a quad toeloop and a triple lutz-triple toeloop combination as he skated to ''Caruso'' by Lucio Dalla.
Ten, who is ethnically Korean, said the championship in Seoul had special meaning for him. Asked about his long-term goals, he said he had a ''higher dream'' for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, than the bronze he won at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
''I'm quite relieved,'' he told reporters. ''I feel like I'm on the right track.''
Japanese 17-year-old Shoma Uno was second with 88.90 points, completing a quad toeloop and a triple flip-triple toeloop combination in his debut at a senior international championship.
China's Yan Han was third with a score of 87.34, despite a stumble on a quad toeloop.
The men's free skate is Saturday.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada finished the pairs short program in first place, with 75.67 points. China's Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao were second with 69.81 points. In third were Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China with 69.19 points.
The pairs free program will be Saturday.
In the short dance competition, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates had the lead with 70.38 points. Bates said they've made some changes to their footwork for the free dance portion of the program on Friday that will provide ''a little bit of a mental challenge.''
''It's nothing we can't handle, and we made the changes with improvement in mind,'' Bates said.
American siblings Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani were close behind in second place with 69.65 points. Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were third with 68.31.