Originally created 11/27/98

Rising Russian star Klimkin wins men's skating title



ZAGREB, Croatia -- Up-and-coming Russian star Ilia Klimkin justified expectations Thursday, taking the men's title with ease at the world junior figure skating championships.

The 18-year-old was crisp clean in his technical elements and simply a class above the field in artistry.

Klimkin was followed by Vincent Restencourt of France, the winner of the short program, and Yosuke Takeuchi of Japan.

Klimkin finished first in his qualifying group, worth 20 percent of the total score, but was runner-up due to a slip in his opening combination in the short program, worth 30 percent. His combined score, however, kept him atop of the standing coming into the free skating.

Klimkin then showed a novel bend-back routine and jumps such as a quadruple toe-loop and triple toe-loop combination.

The best showing among Americans was by 18-year-old Mathew Savoi of Peoria, Ill., beaten out for the bronze medal by Takeuchi, the final skater.

In the ice dance compulsories, Jamie Silverstein of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Justin Pekarek of Southfield, Mich., moved into the lead, moving past Frederica Faiella and Luciano Milo of Italy and Natalia Romaniuta and Danil Barantsev of Russia. The dance title will be decided Friday, while the ladies will perform their short program.