Swiss teenager Stéphane Lambiel has ended the figure skating season with an 18th place finish at the world championships in Nagano.This content was published on March 21, 2002 - 18:39
During an inconsistent free skate on Thursday, the 16-year-old from canton Valais was unable to find the energy that took him to fourth place at January's European Championships in Lausanne nor the confidence that saw him finish 15th at last month's Winter Olympics.
But despite touching the ice during a triple toe-loop and downgrading his planned triple lutz to a double, Lambiel said he was not too unhappy with his performance.
"I haven't been too hard on myself," said the Swiss teenager afterwards. "Unfortunately I was last on the ice (in my warm-up group) and it was always going to be a struggle after losing so much ground in the short programme."
Lambiel admitted he was also happy just to put an end to a season which has taken its toll on his school work. His next challenge after returning to Switzerland involves the rather more mundane task of passing exams which he failed earlier in the school year.
Such concerns are long in the past for 22-year-old Russian star Alexei Yagudin who on Thursday added the world championship title to last month's Olympic gold medal and January's European title.
Yagudin beat off competition from American silver medallist Timothy Goebel and Japanese bronze medallist Takeshi Honda to clinch his fourth world championship title in five years.
By winning in Lausanne, Salt Lake City and Nagano, Yagudin was able to celebrate the first clean sweep by a European skater since Britain's John Curry achieved the same feat in 1976.
swissinfo with agencies
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