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Asada takes lead after short program at NHK Trophy

TOKYO (AP) — Two-time world champion Mao Asada won the women's short program on Friday to take a big step toward winning her fourth NHK Trophy.

Asada two-footed her opening triple axel but was solid in all other elements to finish with 71.26 points, five ahead of second-placed compatriot Akiko Suzuki. Gracie Gold of the United States and Elena Radionova of Russia were tied for third with 62.83 points.

In the men's event, 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan skated a near flawless routine to "Sonatino for Violin" to take a commanding lead with 95.55 points, more than 10 points ahead of Javier Fernandez of Spain, in second.

Japan's Nobunari Oda under-rotated his opening quad toe loop to "Cotton Club" and was third with 82.70.

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