Yagudin Holds Off Eldredge for Skating Championship
For once, it was the short program that determined the World Figure Skating Championship, which went to Russia’s Alexei Yagudin on Thursday night.
Todd Eldredge staged one of the most memorable free skates of his career, sweeping the judging panel. But he blew his chance for a second world title in the short program, finishing fourth. That meant the five-time American champ had to finish two spots in front of the 18-year-old Russian in the long program, worth two-thirds of the total score.
Eldredge was magnificent and Yagudin was unimpressive. But nobody else performed well enough to get between them, making Yagudin the second-youngest men’s world champion.
Yevgeni Plushenko, the 15-year-old world junior champion who replaced Olympic winner Ilya Kulik in this event, won the bronze.
In ice dancing, leaders Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov of Russia will take their first world title if they win tonight’s free dance.