Ouch! Wisdom tooth knocks Belbin-Agosto from Grand Prix skate final

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Last year, it was his back injury.

This year, it is her wisdom tooth.

The result is the same: ice dancers Tanith Belbin and her partner, Ben Agosto, are out of the Grand Prix Final in figure skating.

And could they miss the U.S. Championships from Jan. 22-24 as well? That seems unlikely.

Under U.S. Figure Skating rules, the five-time national champions still could -- and would -- be selected for the 2010 Olympic team even if they miss the U.S. Championships, provided they show fitness before February’s Winter Games.


Agosto’s injury kept them from competing at nationals a year ago, but they still were selected for the world team and wound up with a silver medal at the world championships. They also won silver at the 2006 Olympics.
The couple withdrew from next week’s GP Final in Tokyo after Belbin needed surgery today for an infected wisdom tooth. According to a USFS statement, Belbin’s oral surgeon advised her to avoid strenuous activity for at least a week.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, shown after winning gold at Skate America on Nov. 14, are sidelined by her tooth problem. Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Stockman