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WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Lambiel remains on target

Stephane Lambiel, battling a knee injury, won his qualifiying group at the World Figure Skating Championships.
Stephane Lambiel, battling a knee injury, won his qualifiying group at the World Figure Skating Championships. (AP Photo)

CALGARY, Alberta -- Defending champion Stephane Lambiel shook off a knee injury, an early wake-up call, and the post-Olympic blahs to easily win his qualifying group yesterday at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Qualifying sessions are unique to worlds, and most of the Group A competitors struggled, including American Evan Lysacek. When Lambiel nailed two quadruple jumps, one in combination, the Swiss skater soared past Lysacek with 160.90 points. Lysacek, on medication for a bacterial infection since the Turin Games, was second with 139.70.

''This was a great program," said Lambiel, the silver medalist at Turin.

The other qualifying session, worth a quarter of the total score, was last night, with three-time US champion Johnny Weir and Jeffrey Buttle of Canada the headliners.

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