Patrick Chan of Canada captured the men's short program at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships and is position to repeat his gold medal performance from a year ago.
Chan was the silver medal winner at the Worlds in 2009 and 2010 before finally winning gold last year in Moscow. After a short program score of 89.41 on Friday, he is close to winning another title.
Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic finished second Friday with a score of 87.67. He has finished just shy of a medal in each of the last two World Championships, placing fourth both times.
Japan's Daisuke Takahashi, the 2010 world champion and 2010 Olympic bronze medal winner, is third after posting a total of 85.72. He was also third last year after the short program, but stumbled in the free skate and finished fifth.
Brian Joubert of France, the 2007 world titlist, sits fourth after a score of 83.47 and is followed by Spain's Javier Fernandez and Frenchman Florent Amodio.
Americans Jeremy Abbott and Adam Rippon are ninth and 10th, respectively.
The free skate is set for Saturday.