PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
Shoma Uno skated a near-flawless short program, the only stumble coming on his opening jump, and scored 103.25 points to give Japan the lead in figure skating’s team competition.
Alexei Bychenko put together a clean program to place Israel in a surprising second place, while the rest of the big hitters in the men’s competition kept hitting the ice.
Patrick Chan of gold medal-favorite Canada fell on both of his quads but rallied in the back half of his program to take third. Nathan Chen of the U.S. was fourth after doubling a triple toeloop and quad toeloop and falling on his troublesome triple axel.
The event continues later Friday with the pairs short program.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that 45 Russian athletes who were excluded from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns can’t compete.
They and two coaches wanted the court to overturn the International Olympic Committee’s decision not to invite them to the games, which open Friday.
The games will still include 168 Russians who have been invited as ”Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
Figure skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics is underway with the team competition, where 10 nations will send out men’s and pairs short programs at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia are considered the favorites for gold, with the U.S. a strong contender to land on the podium. Nathan Chen and his array of quads will skate the short program for the Americans while Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim tackle the pairs program.
Teams are awarded points based on their finish in each discipline. The dance and ladies short programs are Sunday, when the field is trimmed to five nations. Each will then field a free skate program for each discipline, with medals decided Monday.
The highly politicized Pyeongchang Olympics are officially opening, but not without some last-minute drama as the Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to announce whether 45 excluded Russian athletes can compete.
The Russians had not received invites to the games from the International Olympic Committee, which said it couldn’t be sure they weren’t involved in Russian doping scandals.
Another 168 Russians have been invited as ”Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
The opening ceremony is Friday night, and figure skating training and qualifying competition in events including women’s moguls were underway in the morning.