Amodio wins men's gold at JGP Final

Americans Mahbanoozadeh, Dornbush finish 2-3

Florent Amodio will accompany Brian Joubert to Vancouver.
Florent Amodio will accompany Brian Joubert to Vancouver. (Getty Images)


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By J. Barry Mittan, special to
(12/12/2008) - Frenchman Florent Amodio, who led after the short program, beat his personal best by over ten points with 131.38 points in the free skate to win the segment and the gold medal with 199.58 total points. He skated to "The Mission," "Rocking Gypsies" and "Bullfighter's Dream."

He landed two triple Axels, one in combination with a double toe loop, and six other triple jumps including triple Salchow-triple toe and triple Lutz-double toe.

"This is fantastic," Amodio said. "I did my very best. I gave everything until the end."

U. S. skater Armin Mahbanoozadeh, who skated to selections from The Mummy soundtrack, won the silver medal by placing second in the free skate with 126.43 points and 193.48 points overall. Like Amodio, his free skate score bettered his previous high by more than ten points.

Last year's JGP Final bronze medalist landed six triples in the first 70 seconds of his program. That included triple flip-triple toe and triple Lutz-triple toe combinations and a triple Axel.

He added two more triples later in the program along with a double Axel-double toe-double loop combination and another double Axel.

"I'm thrilled," he said. "It was the first time I ever put the triple Axel out there and to land it and then go on, do a clean program, and get a season's best was just great."

Richard Dornbush, who used music from the soundtrack of the motion picture Backdraft for his free skate, finished third overall with 183.93 points, scoring 117.43 in the free skate to finish fourth in the segment.

Dornbush landed started well with a triple flip-triple toe combination , triple Axel and double Axel, but ran into trouble after that. He stepped out of his triple Lutz, then completed triple flip-double toe-double loop before popping a second triple Lutz and dropping a planned double toe from his triple Salchow-double toe combination.

"I'm very excited to have won a medal at my first time here," Dornbush said. "I was injured. I started to tear my left hamstring, the top of it. Now I'm going to rest a bit and let it heal."

Ivan Bariev of Russia landed double Axel-triple toe, triple Lutz-double toe, and triple flip-double toe-double loop combinations as well as four other triples in his "Poeta" program to place fifth in the free skate with 116.90 points and finish fourth overall with 180.65.

Kazakhstan's Denis Ten finished in fifth overall with 180.34 points after earning 119.75 in the free skate. He landed a nice opening triple Axel-double toe combination, but stepped out of his second triple Axel. He then landed five more triples while skating to Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No. 2" to place third in the free.

Alexander Johnson was sixth in the free program with 113.55 points after placing fourth in the short. He was sixth overall with 178.40 points. Johnson used Saint-Saens' "Rondo Capriccioso" and "Meditation" from "Thais" for his free program.

Canada's Elladj Balde, skating to "Carmina Burana," scored 110.45 points to place seventh in the free program and overall with 170.34 total points.

Russia's Artur Gachinski, skating to "The Mirror" scored 106.48 points in the free skate to place eighth in the free and overall with 168.68 total points.