Skating early on, Russian Evgeni Plushenko set the standard at the first night of men's figure skating, scoring a 90.85 with his short program. That lead looked difficult to beat, but when the short program ended, less than one point divided the top three skaters.
Evan Lysacek skated his way into second place by performing his routine nearly perfectly. Though he has thrown a quadruple jump in the past, a foot injury has kept him from trying it in Vancouver. To compensate, the rest of his jumps needed to be spot-on, and they were Tuesday night, earning Lysacek a 90.30, putting him just 0.55 behind Plushenko. Japan's Daisuke Takahashi is in third place, 0.05 point behind Lysacek.
Sitting in sixth place is American figure skater Johnny Weir, who skated his routine wearing a black and pink ensemble that had a pink tassel, mesh panels showing off his arms, and vinyl. (His controversial outfit that had fur on it at the U.S. Championships was worn during the long program.) Weir hit his jumps well, and his program was classically beautiful and crowd-pleasing, but it was not as difficult as his competitors.
Jeremy Abbott, the reigning U.S. champion, may have had his best performance at the U.S. Championships. He fell apart Tuesday in his short program. Abbott singled his planned triple axel and doubled a triple Lutz. It was not his night on the ice.
The medals will be decided with Thursday night's free skate.