Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flatt Wins World Junior Championships

It was no surprise the U.S. women swept the medals Saturday at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

After all, the U.S. team included the 1-2-4 finishers from the most competitive senior national championships in the world.

But the results, with Rachael Flatt sneaking out of the shadows to take the title from defending world junior champion Caroline Zhang and reigning U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu, mean there will be a ferocious battle for places on the U.S. team at the 2009 senior worlds in Los Angeles and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Especially because the U.S. is likely to have only two women's places at the 2009 worlds. If that happens, there will be no margin of error to get three places at the 2010 Olympics.

"This is a really good group of U.S. ladies," said Zhang, of Brea. "The next two years will be tough but really fun too."

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