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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eldredge, Russians Star In Ice Skating Challenge

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Todd Eldredge seemed to fall off the figure skating globe the last few years. But now the American has climbed back on.

Tuesday night, Eldredge won the technical program at the International Pro-Am Figure Skating Challenge against a strong field that included Russian Alexei Urmanov and Viktor Petrenko of Ukraine, winners of the last two Olympics.

Eldredge won the '90 and '91 U.S. championships and was on the verge of Olympic stardom when a back injury derailed his career. But his performances this season clearly show he is going to be a factor.

"I'm definitely gaining confidence," said Eldredge, who swept the seven judges with a perfect program featuring a triple axel-triple toe loop at the outset.

Urmanov skated the same technical program that helped him win gold at Lillehammer. But he two-footed a triple lutz and had a shaky combination jump.

While Urmanov was faltering,Russia's Olga Markova took the technical program over more-heralded competitors Surya Bonaly of France and Michelle Kwan, the top-ranked American amateur. Skating last in the field of five, Markova finished first with four of seven judges, thanks to a superb triple lutz-double toe loop combination and some excellent spins. Kwan fell on her first jump and was fourth. Russians also led in pairs and dance.