This Time, Joubert Is a Winner

From Associated Press

Brian Joubert of France was ready for a victory after a second-place finish this year at the World Championships.

Despite having trouble landing several jumps, Joubert got his title in the men’s free skate Friday night at Skate America, finishing with an overall score of 193.46.

“I had a good short program, but the free program was difficult,”Joubert said. “I know what I have to work on. For the beginning of the season, it was very good.”


Ryan Jahnke, a surprise bronze medalist for the U.S. at last year’s nationals, scored 186.71 for second -- another unexpected finish.

Jahnke had finished fourth in the short program and fell twice during the free skate, but he still edged countryman Michael Weiss, who was third with 179.56 points.

“I was sort of determined to do everything to a level 10 that I could,” said Jahnke, who added that he thought he was helped by figure skating’s new scoring system. “I felt super-strong.”

Under the new system, every technical element in a program -- jumps, spins, footwork -- has a point value. In the end, the skater with the most points wins, removing some of the subjectivity.

Weiss was hurt by a sloppy landing on a quadruple toe loop.

“I was a little hesitant, obviously,” said Weiss, who was skating on one relatively new skate after having broken one this week. “To be hesitant on those jumps was a little disappointing.”

After becoming the first U.S. duo to win a Grand Prix title in six years in 2003, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto took the lead in ice dancing through two rounds with a rousing original dance to “New York, New York” that brought the crowd to its feet. They finished the original dance portion of the event with a score of 63.40 and an overall total of 107.11. The free dance is scheduled for today.


“We feel like we’ve skated it better technically at home, but performance-wise this was really good. We’re generally happy with it,” Belbin said.

Galit Shait and Sergei Sakhnovski of Israel were second, scoring a 60.48 in the original dance and 101.46 overall.

In the women’s short program, Miki Ando of Japan skated first and maintained her lead throughout the evening. She scored a 53.64. Angela Nikodinov of the U.S. was second at 53.62.