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More double axels and triple loops

January 25, 2009 | 12:40 pm

Flatt_500CLEVELAND -- In the wee hours of Sunday morning, U.S. figure skating officials confirmed the entrants in the women's, pairs and dance events at the World Figure Skating Championships, to be held March 22-29 at Staples Center.

The men's delegation will be announced tonight, after the mens' free skate finale.

As expected, women's champion Alissa Czisny and runner-up Rachael Flatt of Del Mar (pictured at right) will be entered, with Caroline Zhang of Irvine as the first alternate, Ashley Wagner second alternate and Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia the third alternate.

One interesting side note: Nagasu, Wagner and Zhang were chosen to compete in the world junior championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, from Feb. 24-28. Nagasu has been competing on an injured ankle all of this season and part of last season but refuses to rest it, and she got through Saturday's women's final here only with plentiful help from an over-the-counter painkiller. She said afterward that she barely felt her legs. Let's hope her decision to continue competing doesn't worsen the injury and cause long-term damage.

In pairs, champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker and runners-up Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were chosen to compete in Los Angeles. Rena Inoue and John Baldwin of Santa Monica are the first alternate duo.

In dance, newly crowned champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White and the team of Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates were chosen for the world team, as were Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who missed the U.S. championships because of his slow-healing back injury. Belbin and Agosto had petitioned for inclusion to the world team and their request was granted, though a U.S. Figure Skating monitor will watch them skate to ensure they're fit.

Here's the full list of assignments for the next three major events -- the world championships, Four Continents Championships next month in Vancouver, Canada (in the venue for the Olympic figure skating competition), and the world junior championships:

World Championships, March 22-29, Staples Center

Women: Alissa Czisny, Rachael Flatt

Men: To be announced Sunday night.

Pairs: Keauna McLaughlin-Rockne Brubaker, Caydee Denney-Jeremy Barrett.

Dance: Meryl Davis-Charlie White, Emily Samuelson-Evan Bates, Tanith Belbin-Ben Agosto.

Four Continents, Feb. 4-7, Vancouver, Canada

Women: Czisny, Flatt, Zhang.

Men: To be announced Sunday night.

Pairs: McLaughlin-Brubaker, Denney-Barrett, Inoue-Baldwin.

Dance: Davis-White, Samuelson-Bates, Kimberly Navarro-Brent Bommentre.

World Junior Championships, Sofia, Bulgaria, Feb. 24-28

Women: Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner, Caroline Zhang.

Men: To be announced Sunday night

Pairs: Marissa Castelli-Simon Shnapir, Brynn Carman-Chris Knierim.

Dance: Madison Chock (of Redondo Beach)-Greg Zuerlein, Madison Hubbell-Keifer Hubbell, Maia Shibutani-Alex Shibutani.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo credit: Amy Sancetta / Associated Press

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