Kimmie Meissner's old friend, the triple axel, made an appearance at practice today on the main ice of the Scandinavium. Whether she will do one tonight when it counts at the World Figure Skating Championships is a matter for speculation.
Meissner is in ninth place after the short program with little to lose. She's already planning to do a triple flip-triple toe combination in the long program, skated to "Nessun Dorma," Luciano Pavarotti's signature song.
"We'll see. Mr. Callaghan said we'd decide after practice," Meissner said, referring to her coach, Richard Callaghan.
Callaghan said Meissner had been landing about half of her triple axels, a percentage he would like to see higher before committing to it.
At the 2005 U.S. national championships, Meissner became only the second American woman after Tonya Harding to land the difficult 3 1/2-rotation jump. With no name recognition and little to lose, she completed it and won the bronze medal.
Japan's Miki Ando has promised to raise the ante by attempting a quadruple salchow. But the defending world champion, who is in eighth place, left the ice moments after her practice started with no explanation from team officials.
In one tiny bit of controversy, Callaghan questioned the judges downgrading Meissner for taking off on the wrong edge and executing a triple lutz rather than a triple flip in the short program. Ironically, the lutz is a harder jump than the flip.
Callaghan, an elite-level coach for three decades, said he would review a DVD of her performance.
"If it's true, I'll be annoyed," said Callaghan. "It was a very good flip and it came up on the [scoring] screen right away as a flip."
Meissner agreed. "As fas as I'm concerned it was a flip. But it doesn't matter what they called it because I was happy with my performance."