Meissner's title defense starts with home cooking

So, what does a world champion eat when she's on the road?

"Cheerios, peanut butter and crackers, cereal bars and trail mix," says Kimmie Meissner, reciting her menu.

When you travel as much as Meissner, you not only live out of your suitcase, you eat out of it, too.

Meissner, an admitted fan of simple foods and salads, decided to bring some of the comforts of home as she defends her title here against a field of 44 other competitors.

She did not want to risk a repeat of her last visit to Japan, when her dinner almost walked off the table.

Meissner, her parents and coach went to dinner at a Benihana-style restaurant two years ago during the NHK Trophy in Osaka. It seemed like a safe bet.

Meissner and her mother ordered prawns, which quickly arrived on a platter, awaiting the chef's deft touch. All of the sudden, dinner moved. The prawns were alive.

The chef arrived and tossed the prawns on the griddle. When the little critters tried to crawl off, the chef flipped them back on.

"I put the menu over my head. I couldn't eat it. My dad did," Meissner recalled.

Hence, the new Meissner takeout menu.

But worry not, sports fans. Meissner does not live by Samsonite alone.

"There's Subway. Really, I've found three so far," says Meissner, who does commercials for the chain with former fat guy Jared Fogle.

And her turkey sandwich here tastes the same as one in Bel Air.

"Except no carrots," she says.

Men's competition
With an eye toward the Olympics in three years, Evan Lysacek took a gamble and tried a quadruple jump in his short program today at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Although his shaky landing at the end of the four-revolution toeloop most likely cost him in the standings, the U.S. champion saw the bright side.

"For me it was a bigger hurdle just to put it in that program and be able to come back and do everything afterwards really well," said Lysacek, who is in fifth place with 73.49 points, a personal best.

Ten points separate Lysacek from the leader, Brian Joubert. The five-time French champion and only skater to land a clean quad jump today set a personal best of 83.64 points. Christian Rauchbauer of Austria also was given credit for a quad.

Joubert said he was disappointed others didn't attempt the jump, and applauded Lysacek's gumption.

"He did a lot of mistakes in practice but he tried it so, it was good for him," Joubert said.

Jeffery Buttle, 2006 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time Canadian champion, is in second place on the strength of his personal best score of 79.90. In third is Daisuke Takahashi, the two-time Japanese title holder (74.51).

Less than a point ahead of Lysacek is Johnny Weir, who was dethroned by Lysacek at Nationals in January. Weir had a miscue on his triple flip, just past the halfway point in his program and seemed to run out of gas and lose his way in his straightline step sequence.

"My performance today was just OK," said Weir. "This wasn't as crummy as it could have been ... one good dinner and some sleep and I'll be ready to go."

Short programs have bedeviled Lysacek over the last several seasons. He seemed to shake off his problems at Nationals only to have them surface again a month later at the Four Continents Championships.

Adding the quad to his short program was "a risk I had to take even though it was a big one to put it in the short."

But by rushing the jump, he had to place his hand on the ice to steady his landing.

"I said, 'OK, forget about it,' even though that's difficult to do that. The other elements are equally as difficult even though they're not as new," he said. "I had to bring my concentration back just as if I had landed it perfectly."

The men's long program is tomorrow evening.


The Sun's Candus Thomson will file daily reports from the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo.

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