ALSO ON SLAM!
Monday, March 30, 1998
American pairs champions withdraw from worldsMINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Two-time U.S. pairs champions Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen withdrew Monday from the World Figure Skating Championships after a freak accident brok a bone in his forehead.
During a practice session Sunday night, Dungjen was struck in the forehead by Ina's arm while practicing a triple twist in which he pitches her a few feet above his head. The impact fractured the browbone above his right eye.
Dungjen was taken to a Minneapolis hospital, treated and released. But after a brief workout Monday, the couple withdrew.
"Kyoko and I are very disappointed we won't be able to compete here," Dungjen said. "Of course, we thought we had a legitimate shot of medaling here after coming so close in the Olympic Games and last year."
Ina and Dungjen placed fourth at the Nagano Olympics and the third-place duo, Mandy Wotzel and Ingo Steuer of Germany, are not at worlds.
"It's just an unfortunate accident that's a part of sports."
Added Ina, "The No. 1 concern is always safety. Healthy or not healthy, it's always safety. We are not prepared to compete based on that."
Shelby Lyons and Brian Wells, second at the U.S. championships, will join Jenni Meno and Todd Sand as U.S. representatives in pairs this week. Meno and Sand withdrew from nationals in January after she hurt her ankle.