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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stojko Puts Pressure on Yagudin




SAINT JOHN, Canada -- Alexei Yagudin was relieved he didn't have to follow Elvis Stojko onto the ice.


"That would have been really hard," the world champion from Russia admitted after watching Canada's champion close the opening night of Skate Canada on Thursday with an outstanding short program.


There was a standing ovation. Yagudin joined in. Three judges gave Stojko 5.9 of the possible 6.0 for technical content. There also were three 5.9s from the nine-member panel for artistic impression. Three judges had Stojko first.


Yet, Yagudin, who had a dynamic program earlier, survived the powerful performance by the three-time world champion to emerge in first place. Stojko was second and Chenjiang Li of China was third. All three landed four-revolution jumps in the short program.


With the free-skating final Saturday worth two-thirds of the total mark, any one of the top three can win by earning top marks in the long program.


Russian world champions Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze topped the pairs competition after the short program, and Lithuania's Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas led in ice dance after the compulsory program.


The women's event was set to begin Friday.