Meissner's program: Hartford, then Paris

Skating

June 27, 2006|By CANDUS THOMSON | CANDUS THOMSON,SUN REPORTER

Kimmie Meissner's second season on the Grand Prix figure skating circuit will unfold just as she had hoped.

The International Skating Union assigned Meissner, the world champion, to Skate America in Hartford, Conn., and Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris.

Sasha Cohen, this year's Olympic silver medalist and bronze medalist at worlds, will not compete this Grand Prix season "due to her heavy post-Olympic schedule," according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Meissner, 16, of Bel Air, had requested the Hartford event - the first of the season - and had hoped to return to Paris, her first-ever Grand Prix event last year. In Paris, she fell twice in her short program, but came back with two triple-triple jump combinations in her long program to finish fifth.

Skate America on Oct. 26 to 29 might become a battle of jumpers, as Meissner, one of only two U.S. female skaters to land the triple axel, will compete against two of Japan's best. Miki Ando, the 2004 world junior champion, is the only woman in history to land a quadruple jump in competition. Mao Asada became the first woman to land two triple axels in a program. Completing the U.S. roster will be Katy Taylor and Emily Hughes, who finished seventh at the Olympics, one spot behind Meissner.

At the Paris event, Nov. 16 to 19, she will compete against Ando; Canada's Joannie Rochette, who earned fifth place at the Olympics; and Carolina Kostner of Italy, who finished ninth in Turin.

At the conclusion of the six Grand Prix events, the top six skaters in each discipline will be invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 14 to 17.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com

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