Meissner wins title, Rochette gets bronze

FREE PRESS NEWS SERVICES

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- Joannie Rochette had to settle for bronze at the Four Continents figure skating championships yesterday.

But the Canadian champion from Ile Dupas, Que., said third place in a world-class field was just the confidence boost she needed with the world championships just around the corner.

"My confidence was down and I got here this week and my practices were not really good at the beginning but got better every day," said Rochette. "And right now I'm much more confident about my skating."

World champion Kimmie Meissner of the U.S. had a solid free skate program to make up for a poor showing in the short program and that allowed her to come back to win women's title. Meissner made up more than four points on Rochette. American Emily Hughes was second after turning in a personal-best international performance in the free skate.

"I definitely felt more determined," said Meissner, who recently won the U.S. championships. "I was a little angry."

Rochette led after the short program with Hughes trailing by only 1.26 points. The Canadian said she made a couple of technical mistakes in her free skate, and her performance wasn't as strong artistically as it could have been.

"But I did my triple loop tonight which I've missed all season, " said Rochette.

The world championships are March 19-25 in Tokyo.

"I'm really looking forward to worlds and this was a huge improvement over nationals," said Rochette. "I feel I'm really getting closer to the level I was at last year and the year before."

Meissner's coach, Pam Gregory, had a chat with her about the importance of skating well as judges tend to remember bad performances.


Videos

Photos