Lysacek roars to world title in Los Angeles
Patrick Chan second; Brian Joubert third
|Evan Lysacek is tops in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)|
"When I landed the first jump, I was really surprised," commented Chan, who already defended his Canadian title this winter and won the Four Continents gold medal soon afterwards. "I rushed the toe loop, but I was still happy to stay on my feet the whole program."For the second year in a row, in a somewhat embarrassing fashion, Joubert was proved wrong. You could almost hear a chorus of "once bitten, twice shy," rise up when he planted face first onto the ice on a double Axel late in his program. The Frenchman, who won the European title in January, managed to hold on to a podium finish but was visibly shaken. "I felt strong at the beginning of the program," Joubert said. "After the first two jumps, I thought I'd skate clean. The error on the second triple Axel cost me my concentration and threw me off. I paid for the beginning of the season, with a lack of practice and equipment problems. But, I know I could have done better. I was ready to get the gold medal. ... Obviously, I am very disappointed." Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic was fourth, and Samuel Contesti of Italy placed fifth. Team USA's Brandon Mroz stepped out of his opening quad toe, popped a triple Axel and stepped out of his triple Salchow. He captured ninth place. "I felt good," said Mroz. "Getting through the quad, I had a little step. I was pushing through expectations this year." Jeremy Abbott's troubles continued Thursday. He turned out of his two triple Axels and, despite elegance and artistry, he took a hit on his marks. Abbott earned just 132.52 for his free skate, 204.67 overall. That dropped the reigning U.S. champion to 11th place. "I didn't expect myself to be in this position," Abbott explained. "I had a rough time. My program wasn't bad. I gave it my full heart." Lysacek's win combined with Mroz's placement guarantees the U.S. three spots on the men's Olympic team at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.