Currently in second-place is Timothy Goebel, of the United States. The only skater to complete a quadruple Salchow, which was in combination with a triple toe loop, Goebel skated a clean short program with clear focus and determination.
Another clean program with exceptional presentation put Takeshi Honda, of Japan, in third-place following the short program.
"Before the competition, I had a hard time to wear my skating boots because my (left) foot was swelling," said Honda. "Because of that, my quad jump was not perfect. However, I felt confident on my triple Axel.
"I am not going to hold back (speaking on the free skate). I will jump three quad jumps. I will do my best. I want to do my own gold medal performance for the audience."
Both Canadian entries, Jeffrey Buttle and Emanuel Sandhu, skated energetic performances, earning them high presentation marks. Minor errors in the quadruple-triple jump combination made the difference in this deep field. Despite the error, however, both remain as major players in the top-ten and are challenging for personal bests going into the free program on Thursday night.
Buttle, who is currently in ninth-place, said his program was the best short program he has skated this season.
"I attempted the quad in qualifying and tripled it, so I was pretty determined in the short (program)," said Buttle. "I recovered from my slight mistake on the quad and completed the rest of my jumps. My goal is to make sure I got a quad done - to have it was fantastic.
"The audience was great, so enthusiastic. I could feed off the energy so easily. I felt really comfortable out there."
Sandhu currently stands in 10th, and is looking towards the free skate.
"I'm ready to go on to the next part (the free skate)," said Sandhu. "It was on the fence, and I fought for everything and did everything. I didn't really hear the crowd during the program, but once it was over, it was really quite nice."
With the short program completed, it is remarkable to consider how high this group of athletes will raise the bar when they take the ice to determine the 2003 World Champion.