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Wylie jumps for joy -- and World win


LANDOVER -- It was a gamble that paid off big -- $40,000 in prize money, to be exact.

Paul Wylie, a 1992 Olympic silver medalist, took an unconventional approach, but won the men's competition of the DuraSoft Colors World Professional Championships at USAir Arena on Saturday night.

Wylie, 29, finished with 99.2 points, topping Robin Cousins (98.3).

Midori Ito edged out Kristi Yamaguchi for the women's championship, but it was Wylie who left the crowd mesmerized with his jumps.

Wylie's artistic program was stunning. Skating to "The Untouchables" -- and even dressed like Eliot Ness, wearing a pin-striped vest and pants -- he drew the highest score of the night, 49.9.

Wylie drew a standing ovation at the end of his 4-minute, 20-second program, and he looked to the sky, a fist clenched in the air. He scored four 10s from the judges.

"I wanted to show power, death and revenge, right from the beginning, when it starts out with the wheels squealing and the tommy gun sounds," said Wylie. "It's something I've done maybe three times before, but it's always a gamble.

"I wanted to use it four years ago, but it's tough to do that as an amateur," he added. "As a pro, you can slow it down a little. It was a diverse program."

Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini of Canada won the pairs championship with 99.5 points. A Russian pair, Natalia Annenko and Genrisk Sretenski, won the dance championship with 99.2 points.

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