Daisuke Takahashi skated a near-perfect short program today at the NHK Trophy to take an 11-point lead on Javier Fernandez. The best part is, we got to see it on high-def TV thanks to TV Japan. But here's what you can see on youtube (you can also find it at NBC Universal Sports):
Amazing--you've gotta hear the crowd go nuts when he lands his quad perfectly! I heard that his coach chewed him out for 40 minutes in the middle of the night after his short program at Skate America, which was nowhere close to this in quality. I mean, he got over 50 points on technique alone, which is usually great but almost always overshadowed by his artistry score.
Takahashi skated last and while the overall quality of the skating was high (most were bunched in the mid-70s to low 80s), nobody killed it, even Fernandez, who skated right before him. We thought Nobunari Oda got underscored a bit and were once again impressed with Adam Rippon's skating. Max Aaron's going to need another great free skate like he performed in Skate America to get back in this thing, but it seems like he enjoys the long program more than the short.
Long story short, somebody's going to have to have the free skate of their life to challenge Daisuke tomorrow!