Carter finishes worlds on high
The Australian
20 March, 2005

AUSTRALIAN figure skater Jo Carter has delivered one of the best performances of her career to finish 11th in the free program at the world championships in Moscow.

Carter scored 95.60 points from the judges, outscoring a group of higher-ranked competitors including 2004 European champion Julia Sebestyen of Hungary and Ukraine star Elena Lyashenko.

But with the points from the qualifying round, the short program and the free program contributing to the overall score - and with an even better free program performance from Swiss skater Sarah Meier - Carter actually dropped one place from the 15th position she held at the end of the short program.

She ended the competition in 16th place with 163.38 points.

Russia's Irina Slutskaya, the 2002 champion, won with 222.71 points from American Sasha Cohen (214.39), with Carolina Kostner of Italy third on 200.56.

Carter's result was well inside the top 24 spot she needed to qualify a spot for Australia at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

She competed at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games and produced the best result by an Australian woman in Olympic figure skating competition to finish 12th.

The 25-year-old from Sydney was thrilled to finish the world championships on such a high note.

"This was the first time I have really felt like everything was 110 per cent there in an international competition performance," Carter said.

"I managed to skate a clean program and a personal best score as well.

"I'm not a fan of the new judging and points system at the moment - I skate better and I come lower? Of course, the moral of the story is that I need to skate a blinder for every program.

"But I'm really happy with my long program today. The president of the International Ice Skating Union came up to our Australian judge and said he was very impressed with my performance, so that was very positive.

"It's not every day you get a comment like that.

"And I'm overjoyed and any other adjective you can think of now that I have qualified a place at the 2006 Olympics. 'Im just so happy all the hard work has paid off.

"My body is definitely ready for a break. Everything is hurting, and I seem to have a zillion bruises. Its been a long season, but worth every push on the ice."