The 2016 World Figure Skating Championships kicked off on Wednesday at the T.D. Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
The event begin with the short dance. Reigning World Champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are the current leaders following the short dance.
“We are very happy to have skated like this today and to have competed against wonderful skaters,” said Papadakis following the short program.
The two are less than two points ahead of 2016 U.S. and Four Continents Champions Maia and Alex Shibutani of the U.S.
“We are so happy with our skate today, it was the strongest performance of the season,” said Maia at the press conference following the short dance.
The siblings will skate last in Thursday’s free dance. Maia said they are looking forward to the free dance.
“We’ve been working so hard and this program is so special to us – to have an opportunity to skate last is very exciting,” she added.
Fellow Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates are sitting in third.
“We had such a great time skating today. The crowd is really supportive and we enjoyed every second of our performance,” Chock exclaimed.
The free dance is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Thursday.
2014 Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu, of Japan, who has been breaking records all season, brought the crowd to their feet following his short program in Boston on Wednesday. He was just shy of breaking his personal best score program score of 110.95. He earned a 110.56.
His training mate and reigning World Champion Javier Fernandez, of Spain, is sitting behind him in second place with a score of 98.52.
Making his return to competitive skating following the 2014 Olympic season, three-time World Champion Patrick Chan is currently in third place following the short program.
Reigning U.S. Championskated a clean short program and earned a season’s best score of 85.72. He earned positive GOE’s for all his elements. He is currently in seventh place.
“My goal was to skate a clean solid program, get a good score and set myself up so that I can relax and skate a clean long and to bring the house down,” Rippon said after he skated.
He will skate in the last position of the second to last group in Friday’s men’s final.
Sitting just behind Rippon, in eighth place, is 2016 U.S. silver medalist Max Aaron.
“It’s great to be back and skating here in the U.S. at the World Championships is just unreal,” said Aaron.
Fellow American Grant Hochstein made his Worlds debut in Boston. He qualified for the free skate with a 16th place finish in the short program.
“The magnitude of it didn’t really hit me until right before the warmup started. The best part of the experience for me so far was when they called my name. It was so cool. This is my first-time ever competing internationally in the U.S. and to have it be Worlds and have the audience behind me was just amazing,” Hochstein said following his short program.
The men’s event will conclude Friday evening.
Day two of competition continues Thursday with the ladies short program and the free dance.