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Tennell leads 4 Continents; Sakamoto 2nd

The Associated Press

Kaori Sakamoto performs her routine during the women’s short program at the Four Continents on Thursday.

AFPANAHEIM, Calif. (AFP-Jiji) — Bradie Tennell of the United States was the surprise early leader after the women’s short program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship in California on Thursday.

Tennell, who finished sixth at the World Championships in 2018, led the standings with 73.91 points to relegate Japan’s defending champion Kaori Sakamoto into second.

Sakamoto scored 73.36 while American Mariah Bell was in third place with 70.02. South Korea’s Lim Eun-soo was third with 69.14 while Japan’s Rika Kihira was fifth with 68.85 points.

Meanwhile, Tennell was satisfied with a solid start at the Honda Center in Anaheim that comes after she decided to develop a more personal style this season.

“I’m very grateful because I’ve really worked hard on my artistry and trying to step up my game in that department,” Tennell said.

“To have people recognize that, it makes all the hard work worth it.”

Tennell hopes to build on her performance in Friday’s free skate.

“I go into tomorrow thinking that I have a job to do and as long as I do that job, no matter what happens, I’ll be happy,” she said.

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