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  Harding, Kerrigan Make it Easy for Judges

Associated Press
Thursday, February 24, 1994; Page D7

This time, the figure skating judges stayed right where they like to be — in the background. After last night's women's technical program, nobody questioned their marks, nobody bellowed about bias.

Nancy Kerrigan is in first place going into Friday night's free skate, worth two-thirds of the total score, followed by Ukraine's Oksana Baiul and France's Surya Bonaly.

In 10th place is Tonya Harding, not because of any detectable bias on the part of the judges but because of her own miscues.

Some judges not on the nine-member women's panel have said they would have a hard time giving Harding a fair shake since the skater's ex-husband has implicated her in the clubbing attack on Kerrigan.

"To say they can't separate the criminal case from the skating, that's a cop-out," said Ben Wright, who worked for the International Skating Union for 20 years helping train judges. "I don't believe that. To me, they've got the job to do; they've got the rules to follow. They don't have the time to worry about who bashed whom."

Harding made their job easy. She made two obvious mistakes on jumps, stepping in between a combination jump and failing to hold a landing on a double flip.

In ice dancing, a flap erupted when former gold medalists Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were given the bronze medal behind Russian gold medalists Oksana Gritschuk and Evgeny Platov.

Coming to Area
Kerrigan and other top figure skaters from the 1994 Olympics will be at the Richmond Coliseum on April 9 for an exhibition. They will also be at USAir Arena in April.

Among others scheduled to take part: Aleksei Urmanov, the 1994 Olympic men's gold medalist; Maia Usova and Alexander Zhulin, the ice dancing silver medalists; Natalia Mishkutienok and Artur Dmitriev, the pairs silver medalists; Scott Davis, the 1994 U.S. men's champion; Ukrainian Oksana Baiul, the 1993 world champion; and Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, 1994 U.S. pairs champions. Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Barkley's Two Cents
Although Tonya Harding once called herself the "Charles Barkley of figure skating," Barkley doesn't think much of the embattled figure skater.

Yesterday in East Rutherford, N.J., during a break in his trial on charges he struck a fan, the Phoenix Suns forward watched on television as Harding practiced before her technical program.

Barkley called Harding a "bad person" and said he hoped she would crash into the boards.

Barkley, however, said he enjoyed watching the Games and is a fan of Italian skier Alberto Tomba.

Women's Short Program
1, Nancy Kerrigan, Stoneham, Mass., 0.5 factored placings; 2, Oksana Baiul, Ukraine, 1.0; 3, Surya Bonaly, France, 1.5; 4, Lu Chen, China, 2.0; 5, Tanja Szewczenko, Germany, 2.5; 6, Katarina Witt, Germany, 3.0; 7, Yuka Sato, Japan, 3.5; 8, Josee Chouinard, Canada, 4.0; 9, Anna Rechnio, Poland, 4.5; 10, Tonya Harding, Portland, Ore., 5.0; 11, Lenka Kulovana, Czech Republic, 5.5; 12, Krisztina Czako, Hungary, 6.0; 13, Charlene Von Saher, Britain, 6.5; 14, Marie-Pierre Leray, France, 7.0; 15, Nathalie Krieg, Switzerland, 7.5; 16, Mila Kajas, Finland, 8.0; 17, Yelena Liashenko, Ukraine, 8.5; 18, Rena Inoue, Japan, 9.0; 19, Lyudmyla Ivanova, Ukraine, 9.5; 20, Laetitia Hubert, France, 10.0; 21, Marta Andrade, Spain, 10.5; 22, Zvetelina Abrasheva, Bulgaria, 11.0; 23, Ying Liu, China, 11.5; 24, Lily Lyoonjung Lee, South Korea, 12.0; 25, Guona Zhao, China, 12.5; 26, Susan Anne Humphreys, Canada, 13.0; 27, Irena Zemanova, Czech Republic, 13.5.

© Copyright 1994 The Washington Post Company

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