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Chen leads after short program at skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan -- Defending champion Nathan Chen upstaged two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu on Thursday to lead the short program at the figure skating world championships.

Skating to "Caravan" by Duke Ellington, Chen performed a lively program that featured a triple axel, a quad lutz and a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination for a season-best score of 107.40 points.

American teammate Jason Brown was second with 96.81 points after a routine that included a triple flip, a triple axel and a triple lutz-triple toeloop.

Coming back from a four-month absence because of injury, Hanyu showed some rustiness in his opening jump, a double salchow instead of a planned quad salchow.

The Japanese skater quickly recovered with a triple axel and a quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination but finished third with 94.87 points.

Vincent Zhou of the United States was fourth with 94.17 points.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the free skate to claim the gold medal in pairs.

Skating to "Rain in Your Black Eyes" by Ezio Bosso, Wenjing and Cong produced a near-flawless free skate and received 155.60 points for a total of 234.84.

Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took silver with 228.47 points, followed by teammates Alexander Enbert and Natalia Zabiiako with 217.98.

Peng Cheng and Jin Yang of China were fourth with 215.84.