Sasha Cohen Dazzles in Short Program

02/22/2006 at 08:00 AM EST

Sasha Cohen Dazzles in Short Program
Sasha Cohen
Mark Baker/AP
Graceful and smiling, Sasha Cohen finished first in Turin Tuesday night, beating former world champion Irina Slutskaya of Russia by a slim .03 points and winning the figure-skating short program.

What's ahead: Thursday's four-minute free skate, where Slutskaya has a better track record.

"It's going to be like starting over. Like the short didn't really count. Back to square one," Cohen told reporters after her victory. "Anybody in the top three can win."

The top three also includes Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, the 2004 world champion. Cohen, 21, has a pair of world silvers and won her first national title this year, but her resume is not considered quite as accomplished as her two closest challengers.

More on this story

Meanwhile, Emily Hughes, 17, added to the U.S. team nine days ago when Michelle Kwan withdrew with a groin injury, wasn't intimidated in her first major international event and finished seventh. Her sister, Sarah Hughes, sat in the upper deck holding a banner saying "HUGHES GOTTA BELIEVE."

"She said to have fun and enjoy it," Hughes said of her big sister, the Associated Press reports. "She just said to have fun with everything and I feel like I went out and had fun. It's great she's been here with my whole family and been so supportive.

"Now that I'm on the ice and she's up in the stands, I know how she feels. Maybe she knows how I feel, too."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters