Ice Skating: Main seizes chance

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The Independent Online
STEPHANIE MAIN, the 17-year- old from Edinburgh who surprisingly won the senior women's national title at Basingstoke on Thursday when the favourite, Charlene von Saher, withdrew sick, had further reward yesterday in being selected as Britain's sole women's representative for the European Championships to be held in Copenhagen in five weeks' time.

Von Saher, 19, who lives in the United States but is British, has been nominated for the Winter Olympics three weeks later but will, by this selection decision, be denied the opportunity of rehearsing her full programme in the intensity of a major competition.

Copenhagen, with Katarina Witt a certain performer and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean also in action, will be a showcase for the Olympics and clearly the place to be for those wishing to establish a presence.

On the selectors' side it can be argued that Main is the champion and is indeed home-produced and needs exposure, too. Her 24th, and last position, in the World Junior Championships last week will not be overlooked, however, by the judges at Copenhagen, who would have expected von Saher to appear.

On the form she showed when winning the opening technical programme this week in Basingstoke, von Saher could have expected to finish in the first six at Copenhagen. Main, with only one triple jump, the salchow, will do well to qualify for the final 24.

BRITISH SELECTIONS: European Championships: Men: S Cousins and J Jenkins. Women: S Main. Pairs: D Mednick and J Briggs. Olympics: Men: Cousins. Women: C von Saher. Pairs: J Soames and J Jenkins nominated if place available. World Championships: To be announced.