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American Gracie Gold leads after short program at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow

Gracie Gold of the United States started the day as the lowest-ranked skater in the Rostelecom Cup, and ended it in first place after a graceful and assured short program on Friday.

She has less than a two-point lead over the next contenders for medals, Kiira Korpi of Finland and American Agnes Zawadzki.

Gold, who placed seventh in Skate Canada two weeks ago, showed no signs of uncertainty in her short skate to "Hernando's Hideaway," knocking off an opening triple flip-triple toe loop, a triple lutz and a double axel with aplomb.