The hot field includes Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu, former World Champion and Olympic medallist Patrick Chan and many of the top ranked world skaters from USA, China and Japan and will be a precursor to the World Championship in late March.
Kerry skated very early in the event, nailing a flowing quad salchow and then equally good triple lutz/triple toe combo before coming to grief on a triple axel that looked technically solid on entry and in the air but a slip on the landing cost Australia’s best male skater approximately five points.
The change-up in his training preparation has paid dividends with a much more comfortable Kerry giving the performance side of his skate a greater look of ease in the 2.40 minute routine.
“We've been super focused on training the long program with three quads and having the core difficult jumps in the second half. I feel that because of this style of training the short program doesn't take much out of me and just allows me to try and focus on the character,” Kerry said.
“It also gives me the chance to push from start to finish - no holding back.
After a few years knocking on the door of the top echelon in men’s figure skating, 22-year-old Kerry is more focussed than before.
“This season is Olympic qualifying so that definitely changes my mind set. That's my number one focus.
“I know that if I give my absolute best at every other event and treat it like an Olympic Qualifying Competition that when the time comes it won't be as big a deal.
“Also I feel as though it puts it in the judges head as well as my own that I'm going to qualify a spot.”
Kerry is delighted with his short program, which will see him compete in the all-important final two groups in the free program on Sunday.
“I was incredibly happy and equally incredibly annoyed after my short.”
“I had so much fun out there and gave it my all. However, I missed my money jump. Ask anyone at my training rink and they'll tell you - it's never the triple axel he's worried about.”
Coach Tammy Gambill was thrilled.
“Tammy said that she knew I tried my best and that we still have more to give. We want to add a second quad to the short and hopefully not fall on a triple axel next time,” he said.
The men’s free program will be competed on Sunday from 1pm (AEDST).