SAPPORO, Japan — Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are poised for their second medal of the figure skating Grand Prix season.
The pairs skaters, who captured silver at Skate Canada International last month, were second after Friday’s short program at the NHK Trophy, scoring 71.21.
"We love skating in front of such a knowledgeable crowd," said Moore-Towers, a St. Catharines, Ont., native. "We’re fairly pleased with our position heading into the long program."
China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han were the leaders, taking 81.27 points into Saturday’s long program. Anastasia Michina and Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia were third (69.00).
A medal should clinch Moore-Towers and Marinaro a berth in the Grand Prix Final next month in Turin, Italy.
Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was fourth after the men’s singles short program, opening with a quad Salchow en route to scoring 78.51 points.
Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was the leader with 109.34, Kevin Aymoz of France was second (91.47), and Sergei Voronov of Russia third (88.63).
World champion ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were the leaders after the rhythm dance.