SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Rena Inoue and John Baldwin sure know how to make an exit.
The two-time U.S. champions and 2006 Olympians landed their signature throw triple axel and had one of their best performances in what sounded like their last competition. Inoue and Baldwin finished third overall, just missing the Olympic team. They are the first alternates for the Vancouver Games.
“I don’t think I could ask any better than we did tonight,” Inoue said. “I started crying after we finished the program because of all the things we’ve been through in our career and me myself, everything just came to my head. I just cannot find one thing that I can do any better than we did tonight.
“I’m very lucky we can leave the sport this way.”
Inoue and Baldwin, who are engaged, won the U.S. title in 2004 and again in ’06. They were seventh at the Turin Olympics and had their best result at worlds that year, too, finishing fourth. Inoue also represented her native Japan at the 1992 and 1994 Olympics.