Figure Skating
Skater Bios
 Thursday, November 9
Hughes finishes second to Kwan at Skate America
 Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Michelle Kwan picked up $30,000 and her fifth Skate America title in six years Saturday, but it was not the flawless performance she had hoped for.

"It was tough. I was cautious, but as the program progressed I got a little stronger," Kwan said. "It was not bad for the first time out."

The 20-year-old American stepped out of her first triple jump, a loop, and changed a planned combination of two triple toe loops into a triple-double. "I didn't feel up to the triple-triple. It was better to go for triple-double," she explained.

Kwan, the current world champion, a title she has held three times in the past five years, also reduced the difficulty of another move, doubling instead of tripling the flip. But she substituted another triple toe loop for a simpler move in a strong finish.

"I was really happy when I did the second triple lutz. I really needed it," said Kwan, who has finished either first or second in her last 42 competitions.

Kwan's coach, Frank Carroll, said he was "not satisfied" with her performance and expected her to fly back to Los Angeles and be back training on Monday morning.

Sarah Hughes, the 15-year-old who ranks second in the U.S. and fifth in the world, sped confidently through six triple jumps, including an amazing combination of salchow and loop, to finish second. Elena Sokolova of Russia was third.

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Skate America final results

Skate America results after short program

 Michelle Kwan finishes strong to win her 5th Skate America victory.
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 Sarah Hughes completes a Triple Salchow -- Triple Loop combination.
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 The making of Sarah Hughes' long program.
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 Michelle Kwan explains why she added another triple to her routine.
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