Ice skating: Advantage Eldredge

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The Independent Online
Todd Eldredge drew first blood against Elvis Stojko of Canada, whom he deposed as champion last year, when the world figure skating championships began in Lausanne yesterday.

Both men fell during their routines but the American emerged with a victory in the first group of qualifying, which will reduce the field from 45 to 30 for the men's main event which begins on Wednesday.

Viacheslav Zagorodniuk of Ukraine was third with Andrei Vlascenko of Germany fourth, ahead of Azerbaijan's Igor Pashkevitch and Russia's Alexei Yagudin, who is 17 this month.

Eldredge, nursing a sprained ankle after landing a triple axel in practice 10 days ago, fell on that jump late in his routine. Stojko, champion in 1994 and 1995, tumbled trying a quadruple jump.