Kimmie Meissner was all smiles today at the World Figure Skating Championships after she reached into a black sack and pulled out a white ball with "53" on it.

That draw means she will perform last in Wednesday's short program competition, after the judges have watched 52 other competitors over nearly eight hours.


"Well done," said her coach, Richard Callaghan, beaming.

"Last is cool," said Meissner, her grin matching his.

For some athletes, going last can be a nerve-wracking experience. At the 1999 world championships in Helsinki, Michelle Kwan could hear the crowd cheering for Russia's Maria Butyrskaya and lost her focus. She botched her opening triple jump and turned a double axel into a single on her way to losing the title to Butyrskaya.

But for other athletes, getting last licks means judges may have held back their best scores for the end -- especially the artistic mark.

Defending champion Miki Ando of Japan will skate 43rd and teammate Mao Asada is 45th.

Korea's Yu-Na Kim, the Grand Prix Final winner, will skate 48th.

Meissner's teammates had mixed results. BeBe Liang will skate a middle-of-the-pack 29th and Ashley Wagner will skate 47th.