Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Joubert wins men's gold medal at the Cup of Russia, Meier takes women's

AP , MOSCOW

France's Brian Joubert performs in the men's short program at the Cup of Russia in Moscow on Friday. Joubert won the men's free skate.

PHOTO: AFP

Brian Joubert of France took his second Grand Prix gold of the year with an exuberant free skate at the Cup of Russia on Saturday that included three quads.

Accompanied by the music of heavy-metal cello quartet Apocalyptica, Joubert ended more than 40 points ahead of Johnny Weir of the US.

Joubert won the free skate with 160.23 points and received an overall 237.83. He kissed the ice at the end of his program.

"It was my dream to execute three quads," Joubert said.

Second-placed Weir got a total of 196.28 after finishing fifth in the free skate with 121.18.

Weir singled one triple, doubled another and didn't try the second half of three planned combinations.

Russia's Ilya Klimkin took the bronze with 187.45 after a free skate that varied from a smooth triple-double-double cascade to falling twice while skating forward.

Sarah Meier of Switzerland easily won the free skate event to take the women's gold.

Meier started the day in third place after the short program. She performed all her jumps well except for doubling a triple lutz.

Meier finished with 159.17 points, ahead of Julia Sebestyen of Hungary with 146.75. Japan's Yoshie Onda was third with 143.60.

"I knew I had to try everything to move up," Meier said after winning her second international medal.

Sebestyen, who led after the short program and won this year's Cup of China, finished fifth in free skate after mistakes that included stepping out of a triple lutz.

Onda fell on her triple salchow and wobbled two other landings but her program was solid enough to win bronze.

Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy took the pairs gold with 179.45 despite finishing second in the free skate on Saturday behind Russian veterans Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov in the free skate. Petrova and Tikhonov received an overall score of 178.03. The bronze went to Russia's Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov -- the first international medal for the pair.

Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto of the US moved to the top of the ice dancing field after the original dance.

The US pair won the original dance with 58.02 and led overall with 94.58.

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