Sandhu 5th, Buttle battles to 6th

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

CALGARY -- Jeffrey Buttle turned into Emanuel Sandhu.

And Emanuel Sandhu turned into Jeffrey Buttle.

In the end it turned into fifth and sixth for the two Canadians at the World Figure Skating Championships.

A year after Buttle won silver at Worlds in Moscow and a month after he won bronze in Turin at the Olympics, sixth definitely doesn't do it.

But fifth for Sandhu, especially off his disastrous 13th at the Olympics and his brutal beginning in qualifying here Monday?

That one is worth chewing on.

It was the men's free skate final here last night and for the first time in two years of nothing but podium finishes in every event he entered, Buttle headed home without a medal.

Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland, won his second world title with Brian Joubert of France and Evan Lyscek of the U.S. second and third.

In a year when men's Olympic gold-medal winner Evgeni Plushenko and six other Olympic medal winners were no-shows at the Worlds, Buttle said he wasn't left second-guessing not having made it eight.

"I was glad I came to this. I put all my energy into the Olympics and coming here was like starting over. Things didn't go the way I wanted them to. But I'm glad I came. Everything is a learning experience and I'm sure I'll leave here having learned something. It was a long season.

"I think this is going to feel pretty bad when it all sinks in. I'm not going to go home and kick my dog, but I may kick the wall."

Sandhu skated immediately after Buttle and, while he didn't have the stunning skate he had in the short program to move from 15th to fifth after the qualifying, the crowd was with him all the way.

"I felt like a winner tonight," he said.

FOUR MORE YEARS? It's often been said that if you put Buttle's head on Sandhu's talent, you'd have a whale of a figure skater. And he tried to do that this night.

Problem is, said coach Joanne McLeod, when Sandhu thinks, he slows down.

"He really does do that when he thinks. He could have skated faster with more flourish and he was short a triple-triple," said McLeod.

"I wanted to yell at him while he was skating 'TRIPLE-TRIPLE!' But the crowd was too loud.

"Tonight he had the meal, but didn't get the dessert."

For McLeod and Sandhu, does this mean four more years together?

When asked that question McLeod's response was essentially a no comment.


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