Meissner falls twice in Prix debut


November 19, 2005|By SALVATORE ZANCA

It was a rough introduction to the Grand Prix circuit for Kimmie Meissner at the Trophee Bompard yesterday, placing sixth in Paris.

Making her debut on the senior international circuit, the Bel Air teen fell hard on her opening triple lutz in the short program, then made a simple mistake of falling backward in her spiral sequence.

She had a total of 44.92 points.

Ahead of her are some tough competitors. Junior world champion Mao Asada of Japan, only 15, has the lead over Sasha Cohen, the two-time world silver medalist, 63.96-60.96. Third was Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, the 2004 world champion with 57.98 just ahead of Joannie Rochette of Canada.

Meissner, 16, was in trouble from the start of her attempt at a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination. She was leaning in the air and there was practically no chance for a successful landing.

"I think I rushed a little bit," Meissner said. Then she corrected herself. "I think a lot."

As a result she never got a chance to get a second part of her combination and was marked down heavily for that.

She managed to do an OK triple flip with some impressive spins in her routine to "Symphonic dances" by Rachmaninoff wearing a simple blue dress, with little vines and flowers.

Then came the crossover after a series of spirals.

"I just tripped," Meissner said. "I have done it in practice but I have never done this in competition.

"I will be out there tomorrow doing it over and over," Meissner said of practice before the competition resumes.

"She'll come back," coach Pam Gregory said. "She's a tough cookie."

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