Oda blows it as Lambiel defends world title


Japan’s Nobunari Oda blew a chance to stand on the medals podium as Switzerland’s Stephane Lambiel successfully defended his title at the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday.

News photoYukari Nakano practices ahead of the women’s short program at the world championships in Calgary, Alberta.

Oda, making his debut at the senior worlds, was second after the short program but touched the ice with both hands on his first triple axel and was made to pay for other costly mistakes in the free skate to finish fourth with 251.21 points.

Olympic silver medalist Lambiel delivered an error-free skate and earned top marks of 274.22 to hold off a challenge from Frenchman Brian Joubert (270.83) while American Evan Lysacek took third place with a score of 255.22.

Oda’s fourth-place finish guaranteed Japan two berths for next year’s worlds but that was of little consolation to the 18-year-old.

“I anticipated that might happen on my first triple axel. I tried to recover but the following jumps went wrong and I ended up with no points for one of my jumps,” said Oda. “It’s good to get the two berths for next season but I won’t be able to return to Japan with a smile on my face.”