Jill Trenary of the United States held a slight lead over Claudia Leistner of West Germany and Midori Ito of Japan following the women’s original program today at the World Figure Skating Championships.
After the original program, which counts 30%, Trenary went into first ahead of Leistner, who held the lead after the compulsory figures, worth 20%.
Ito bounded into third from sixth and made Saturday’s free-skating final a winner-take-all showdown. Whoever wins the remaining portion, worth 50% of the total score, will take the title.
The high-jumping Ito won the original program segment and earned two 6.0’s and seven 5.9’s for required elements from the nine judges. With difficult and unusual entries into jumps, she was technically superb, although she scored lower on the presentation marks.
Trenary, the U.S. champion, put on the second-best original program, combining artistry and technique to a medley that included music of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
She had marks of mostly 5.7’s and 5.8’s in edging Leistner, whose big-band program had the place rocking but not enough to keep her in the lead.
A few hours before her original program, Trenary was in tears in her hotel room after falling repeatedly in practice.
“I had a nightmare practice. My coaches were ready to shoot me,” the Colorado Springs, Colo., skater said. “I felt lethargic, tired and unsure of myself. But I had a good cry, made some phone calls, played some cards and pulled myself together.
“After that, I felt I had nothing to lose. Now I feel really good.”
Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States made the biggest jump, moving from 12th to seventh with an error-free program. She finished fifth in the pairs event this week with Rudi Galindo.