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Podium out of reach for skating star Lambiel

(Keystone)

Switzerland's Stéphane Lambiel has finished a disappointing fifth at the men's World Figure Skating Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The title was won by Canada's Jeffrey Buttle ahead of defending champion Brian Joubert of France and American Johnny Weir.

Lambiel, two-times world champion in 2005 and 2006, was already in fifth position after Friday's short event, less than five points behind the leader.

However, he touched down several times in a flamenco-inspired routine on Saturday to finish with 217.88 - 27 points behind Buttle.

"I've never made that many mistakes in a free event," Lambiel said.

The 22-year-old Swiss added that he had put himself under too much pressure after his performance and controversial jury decisions in Friday's short event.

In January Lambiel took silver at the European championships in Croatia, behind Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic and Joubert.

The second Swiss, Jamal Othman, finished 22nd on Saturday.

Experts say Buttle, who won bronze at the Turin Olympics and silver at the 2005 world championships, skated a near-flawless routine to the Ararat soundtrack by Michael Danna and slapped the ice in triumph at the finish.

"It's always been a dream of mine to become the world champion, I can't believe I am," he said.

Confidence

Buttle, last to skate, breezed through his routine with calm confidence to top the free skate.

Japan's Daisuke Takahashi, rated as the favourite following his Four Continents win last month, skated a technically ambitious programme that was marred by two falls.

On Thursday, Swiss ice skating hope Sarah Meier finished sixth at the women's world championships in Gothenburg, but with her best ever score.

She equalled her best result of sixth place in the Calgary World Championships. The seven-times Swiss champion's overall score was 171.88 – a personal best.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Stéphane Lambiel was born in 1985 and lives in Lausanne, western Switzerland.

His major titles include silver at the Olympic Games in Turin, 2006 and the World Championships in Moscow in 2005 and Calgary in 2006. He is also seven times Swiss champion (2001-2007).

He won silver at the European Figure Skating Championships in Croatia earlier this year.

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