| ||Associated Press|
NICE, France -- Michelle Kwan regained the women's title at
the World Figure Skating Championships Saturday, vaulting past two
Russians by winning the free skating program.
It is Kwan's third world title. She also won in 1996 and 1998.
Irina Slutskaya was second. Maria Butyrskaya, who led going
into the free, finished third.
Kwan's smooth and elegant routine to music from the movie "Red
Violin" earned her top scores, even though she skated first in the
final group of six.
"That felt sooooo good," Kwan said just after finishing. "I
never felt like that." She was ecstatic as she went off the ice, pumping both arms and
After getting marks between 5.6 and 5.8 for technical merit and
5.8s and 5.9s for presentation, she had to wait for Butyrskaya -- who
beat her for the world title last year -- and Slutskaya, who won the
Grand Prix final.
Butyrskaya ruined her chances when she two-footed a combination
and scaled down a triple salchow.
Then Slutskaya made a run at Kwan in doing two triple-double
combinations but no triple-triples. Although she didn't miss a
jump, she finished with six triples compared to Kwan's seven,
including a triple-triple combination.
Seven judges favored Kwan, compared to only two for Slutskaya.
Kwan needed Slutskaya to finish second to put Butyrskaya down to
third, which she did.
Slutskaya and Butyrskaya also were second and third to Kwan in
| ||Michelle Kwan captured her third world title on Saturday.|| |
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Yagudin wins third world title
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What champions are made of
World Championships final results
Michelle Kwan interview (Courtesy: ABC Sports)
Michelle Kwan's winning performance at Worlds (Courtesy: ABC Sports)
ABC Sports special feature: Kwan looks back at 1999