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Alexei Yagudin of Russia Wins Lalique Trophy in Figure Skating - 2001-11-17

Three-time world champion Alexei Yagudin of Russia has won the men's title at the Lalique Trophy figure skating competition in Paris.

Yagudin, skating to the soundtrack of the movie "The Man in the Iron Mask", used a quadruple toe loop-triple toe combination in his routine to beat American Todd Eldredge. His long program earned the Russian scores of 5.6 to 5.8 out of six for technical merit. His artistic marks were 5.9's.

Eldredge finished second but did not put on as challenging a program as Yagudin. The American earned 5.4 to 5.7 for technical merit and mostly 5.7's for artistic impression. Germany's Andrejs Vlascenko finished third.

The ladies' title went to Maria Butyrskaya of Russia, who finished just ahead of Americans Sarah Hughes and Sasha Cohen. Butyrskaya finished with marks of 5.2 to 5.6 for technical merit and 5.3 to 5.8 for artistic impression.

The pairs title went to the Olympic silver medallists from Nagano, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia. The Russia pair earned mostly 5.7's for technical merit and 5.9's for artistic impression. Americans Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman were second with the French pair of Sarah Abitbol and Stephane Bernadis third.

In the ice dancing competition, French skaters Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat won the title after the free dance program. The French couple ended with scores between 5.6 and 5.9 for technical merit. They scored a perfect six and 5.9's for artistic impression.

Canada's Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz finished second with Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas of Lithuania third.

The Lalique Trophy event is one of several Grand Prix events that skaters are using to hone their programs for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, next February. The Grand Prix final will be organized for the 6 best-ranked Men, Ladies, Pairs and Dance couples in Kitchener, Canada from December 13-16, 2001.