Flawless Fernandez takes lead at figure skating worlds

Every sport has its sayings.

Wagner, 25, competing in her seventh world championships, fashions herself as an underdog even when she's on top, so being behind but within striking distance of a medal suits her perfectly.

In other action, China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the pairs competition.

Germans Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot also recorded a personal best free skate score of 150.46 points to finish on 230.30 and claim silver, improving on last year's bronze medal. She finished fourth overall while Wagner, who had broken the United States' decade-long medal drought at world championships with a silver medal previous year, finished seventh.

Hanyu, who holds the world record 110.95 in the short program, has had to settle for silver the past two years behind Toronto training partner Fernandez.

While her breathless rivals opted to get their hard jumps out of the way within the opening minute of their short skates, a composed Medvedeva slowly built up the momentum before dazzling the judges with her effortless triple flip-triple toeloop combination that was followed by two further foot-perfect jumps.

Skating to Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" the Chinese scored a personal best 150.83 points for their free skate and 232.06 overall, winning by a margin of just 1.76 points on Savchenko and Massot.

Evgenia Medvedeva closed in on a second world figure skating title Wednesday by taking the lead in the short program.

After a translator interpreted the question, Medvedeva took 10 seconds to gather her thoughts.

"Our doctors did everything possible for me to feel comfortable". We were thinking about withdrawing because after this incident we left the ice immediately, there was a long break off the ice, we didn't know how I would feel in skates. "But to get this awesome feeling on the ice that we had tonight makes it worth it", said Massot, who teamed up with Savchenko three years ago. "I really hope for that", she said, though she also said she tries "never to think about" the games. Wagner, who skated to "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3" by the rock band Muse, came in seventh place.

But there was no hiding the fact that a score of 111.85 for the free skate had dropped her from fourth to 13th. She had been one point off third place following the short program, but plummeted to 13th. Radford battled through an injury as the duo finished with 206.06 points for their shaky program to the French song "Non, je ne regrette rien".

Osmond and Daleman are the first Canadian women's medalists since Joannie Rochette in 2009.

From the United States, Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim were eighth, and Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier 20th. The event was only their second competition of the season as the team missed most of the season due to Scimeca Knierim's severe illness. Like a year ago, I felt absolutely calm, not euphoric.

"I skated well and had fun", said Medvedeva.

The free dance is on Saturday.

Based on the results and the ISU's qualification system for the 2018 Olympic Games, 16 spots in the pairs disclipine are given out at the World Championships and the additional 4 pair spots would be given out at Nebelhorn Trophy in the Fall.

It's the first time Canada has two skaters in the top three after the women's short program at worlds.

Two-time and defending World Men's Champion Javier Fernández from Spain isn't a heavy favorite, but he has a way of surprising in big competitions. They must equal 28 or less to earn two spots for 2018.

  • Julie Sanders