Figure skating-American Malinin lands first ever quad Axel in a short program

Figure Skating - ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Final - National Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China - December 7, 2023 Ilia Malinin of the U.S. in action during the men's short program REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - American Ilia Malinin made more quad history on Thursday at the ISU Grand Prix Final as the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in a short program.

The 19-year-old is the only skater to have landed a quad Axel in competition, but had never attempted it in a short program where it is riskier because there is less margin for error. The quad Axel is considered the sport's most difficult jump because it has four-and-a-half revolutions.

Malinin takes a leading and personal best score of 106.90 points into Saturday's free program, just ahead of Japan's Shoma Uno (106.02).

"It didn't say anywhere in the rules that you weren't allowed to do the quad Axel as the solo jump, it just says you can do 'any triple or quad jump,'" Malinin told reporters. "That's when I just decided to go for it and see if it works out.

"I'm just really glad that I was able to pull it off," he added. "Since it was the first time trying it in the short, it was a lot of pressure for me."

Germans Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin are the leaders after the pairs short program with 72.56 points, ahead of Canadians Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps (71.22).

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Toby Davis)

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