American figure skater Ilia Malinin smashed the short program world record at the junior world championships on Friday.
Malinin scored 88.99 points with her program set to David Cook’s “Billie Jean” to take a big lead in the free skate.
Malinin, 17, nicknamed the “Quad God” for his dynamic jumping ability, easily surpassed the previous record of 84.87 points that current world champion Shoma Uno set at the junior championships in 2015.
Malinin, who finished ninth at the senior world championships last month, finished second to Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen at the US championships in January.
But Malinin was left out for the team that traveled to Beijing in favor of veteran Jason Brown, and is now considered a favorite for a medal at the 2026 Winter Games in Italy.
Wesley Chiu of Canada was second with 81.59 points heading into Saturday’s free program. Mihhail Selevko of Estonia was third at 81.26 while Malinin’s teammate Liam Kapeikis was fourth at 79.83.
In the pairs competition, Karina Safina and Luka Berulava of Georgia lead with 67.77 points. Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos of Australia were second and Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia of the US, third.