| ||Associated Press|
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- Russia's Irina Slutskaya landed six
triple jumps in the women's free skate competition to beat American
Michelle Kwan in Skate Canada International on Saturday night.
Slutskaya, who skated last, entered the free skate at the
Hershey Centre in first place. But when she fell in the first
minute of her four-minute routine, she had to recover quickly to
maintain her position in the standings.
"I forgot about the fall immediately," she said. "I'm very
happy I won, and that I tried the triple Lutz-triple loop
combination," Slutskaya said.
Japan's Fumie Suguri finished third, followed by Canadian
champion Jennifer Robinson, American Deanna Stellato and Galina
Maniachenko of the Ukraine.
Alexei Yagudin, the three-time world champion, won the men's
title. The 20-year-old Russian landed a quad and eight triple jumps
to easily beat Americans Todd Eldredge and Matthew Savoie.
"Looking at the marks, I think it might have been my best
skating ever," Yagudin said.
The Russian and German judges gave Yagudin perfect 6.0s for
artistic impression in his free-skating performance to music from
the movie Gladiator. Every other mark, on both the technical and
the artistic sides, was a 5.9.
Slutskaya finished second to Kwan last season at the 2000 worlds
in Nice, France, and also finished second at the 1998 worlds. She
then missed out on the 1999 championships when she didn't make the
"Nothing in my life has come easy," Slutskaya, 21, said
through an interpreter. "I have to fight for everything."
Slutskaya and Kwan are preparing for the world championships in
March in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kwan, who opened her season with a victory at Skate America last
weekend, landed five triple jumps and produced one of her poorest
long programs in recent memory.
"I'm kind of mad at myself," said Kwan, 20. "Hopefully by the
end of the season I'll be doing more triples and improve on this
program. There is a lot of room for improvement."
Kwan, 20, the three-time world champion, backed off on her jumps
and had to touch a hand down, too, during a footwork sequence.
"I could have done a lot better than that," said Kwan, who
doesn't compete again until the U.S. nationals in January.
|Michelle Kwan had one of her poorest long programs in recent memory in taking second place.|| |
Russians rule at Skate Canada
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Slutskaya leads Kwan in Skate Canada International
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