U.S. Women: No Medals at Skate America
A great weekend for U.S. figure skaters at Skate America this weekend unraveled with a development that would have been unfathomable just two years ago: three U.S. women failed to medal at the season-opening grand prix event.
U.S. skaters won four medals in Everett, Wash., but reigning world junior champion Rachael Flatt, 16, led the American trio with a fourth place in the women's event as U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu, 15, claimed fifth and 2006 world champion Kimmie Meissner,19, finished eighth.
South Korea's Yu-Nu Kim won the gold over Japan's Yukari Nakano and Miki Ando.
Though the field was a good one, U.S. women historically have dominated Skate America, faltering--if at all--later in the season at grand prix events overseas.
Flatt certainly held her own but Nagasu, who had been fighting a right ankle injury, flubbed the free skate, finishing seventh. And Bel Air's Meissner did not seem to have benefited from a move to esteemed coach Richard Callaghan late in a disastrous 2007-2008 season. After a fall on the opening Lutz of her free skate, Meissner could not recover and finished ninth.
Earlier, American Johnny Weir had claimed second and Evan Lysacek third in the men's competition, topped only by Japan's Takahiko Kozuka; five-time U.S. champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto earned second in the dance; and rising Americans Keana McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker kept their streak of nine medals in nine competitions alive with a silver in the pairs event. They finished behind only world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany.
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