Hometown boy makes good – the kind of story Hollywood loves.
A short skate from the movie capital, Evan Lysacek, an Illinois native now living in Los Angeles, became the first American in 13 years to win the men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championship. He did it thanks to a spectacular free skate Thursday.
Lysacek became the first U.S. skater since Todd Eldredge in 1996 to take the world crown. He previously won bronze medals in 2005 and 2006 and was fourth at the 2006 Olympics.
“I’ve been looking forward to this event for last few years, ever since I found out it was coming to the Staples Center,” said Lysacek, who slapped his forehead and said “Oh my god” when he saw his marks. “I love this building. I’m here to cheer on the Lakers and Kings as much as I can. I think that nervous energy was a positive for me because I turned it into adrenaline.”
Canada’s Patrick Chan took the silver and 2007 world winner Brian Joubert of France, the short program leader, slipped to third.
The top two Americans, Lysacek and Brandon Mroz (ninth), finished high enough to secure three spots at the Vancouver Olympics next year.
Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the original dance in the ice dancing competition.
Russia or the Soviet Union has dominated ice dancing for decades, while no Americans have won a world or Olympic crown. Belbin and Agosto, who own a world silver and two bronzes, get their shot tonight in the free dance.
The organizers of next year’s World Championships in Spokane are blogging from this year’s championships at blog.spokane2010.com.
Woods in contention
Jason Gore ran off three birdies over the final four holes for a 5-under-par 65 that gave him a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla.
Tiger Woods was in the water, in the trees and in a foul mood until he had eight consecutive one-putts – including four straight birdies – that put him in a good frame of mind with a 68 on a course where he has won five times as a pro.
Tim Herron, who won Bay Hill in a playoff 10 years ago, and Jeff Overton had a 66, while six were tied at 67.
•Kim leads LPGA event: South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke, first-round lead in the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International, while two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa (72) struggled in windy afternoon conditions. Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., shot a 71.
Officer on leave
A Dallas police officer was placed on administrative leave over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building.
Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.
Moats’ wife, who was in the car along with other relatives, said Powell pointed his weapon at her.
Video from a dashboard camera inside the officer’s vehicle revealed an intense exchange in which the officer threatened to jail Moats.
He ordered Tamishia Moats, 27, to get back in the SUV, but after pausing for a few seconds, she and another woman rushed into the hospital.
She was by the side of her mother, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, when she died a short time later from breast cancer.
All-Star pitcher Justin Duchscherer is likely to begin the season on the disabled list after the Oakland Athletics right-hander left a minor league game with elbow pain.
Duchscherer was making his first game appearance of the spring. He was scheduled to throw 35-40 pitches in a minor league game on the A’s off day, but he had to cut the outing short.
Mullens going to NBA
Ohio State 7-foot freshman B.J. Mullens announced he would declare himself available for the NBA draft, the fifth Buckeyes player in the last three seasons to leave after playing one year.
The Columbus-area native averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds, and shot 64 percent from the field to set a school freshman record. He started two of the 33 games this past season for the Buckeyes, who lost to Siena in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Blazers stop Suns: LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 29 points and added 12 rebounds to help the host Portland Trail Blazers snap the Phoenix Suns’ six-game NBA win streak with a 129-109 victory.
•Sparks trade Johnson: The WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks have traded point guard Temeka Johnson to Phoenix in exchange for the Mercury’s 2010 first-round draft pick.
Torch relay contained
Gilbert Felli, executive director of the International Olympic Committee, said torch relays would be limited to within the Olympic country beginning next year in Vancouver. IOC officials decided there was too much risk in taking them worldwide.
The torch relay turned into a great platform for protesters to denounce China’s human rights record last year including large, unruly protests in Paris and San Francisco as the flame made its way to the Beijing Games
•Michigan QB Sheridan out with broken leg: Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan will miss the rest of spring drills with a broken leg. Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez said that Sheridan was injured during a scrimmage on Tuesday.
•American Phinney wins: Taylor Phinney of the United States won the individual pursuit and Morgan Kneisky of France captured the scratch title at cycling’s track world championships at Pruszkow, Poland. Phinney won with a time of 4 minutes, 17.631 seconds.