ALSO ON SLAM!
Saturday, April 1, 2000
Kwan wins women's titleNICE, France (AP) -- Michelle Kwan regained the women's title at the World Figure Skating Championships today, vaulting past two Russians by winning the free skating program.
It was Kwan's third world title. She also won in 1996 and 1998.
Irina Slutskaya was second and Maria Butyrskaya, who led going into the free, finished third.
Kwan's smooth and elegant routine to music form the movie "Red Violin" earned her top scores, even though she skated first in the final group of six.
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 1998.