Two-time world champion Mao Asada had a disappointing run in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, so she was hoping to bounce back in a big way during the World Figure Skating Championships being held at the Saitama Super Arena in her home country of Japan.
Asada did just that by bouncing back with an incredible short program that landed her in first place with a new world record score of 78.66, which topped the 78.50 set by Yuna Kim in the Vancouver Games.
Second-place after the short program went to Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner with a 77.24, which was a new personal record by three points.
Kostner was the only Sochi medalist to compete in the ladies individual event after silver medalist Yuna Kim retired and gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova decided to pull out of the event last week to rest.
With Sotnikova out, all eyes from Russia were on 16-year-old sensation Yulia Lipnitskaya who came out in third-place.
Gracie Gold was the top finishing American in fifth-place. Ashley Wagner finished in seventh, while Polina Edmunds landed in 12th.
Here are the top seven finishers after the ladies short program on Thursday morning:
1. Mao ASADA JPN 78.66
2. Carolina KOSTNER ITA 77.24
3. Yulia LIPNITSKAYA RUS 74.54
4. Akiko SUZUKI JPN 71.02
5. Gracie GOLD USA 70.31
6. Anna POGORILAYA RUS 66.26
7. Ashley WAGNER USA