Rachael Flatt of Colorado Springs had to be hoping for a favorable starting position among the field of 30 in ladies figure skating for the short program at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
She got just that. Flatt, the current U.S. champion, will start 28th, in the final warmup group of the competition's initial phase Tuesday night in Pacific Coliseum.
Also in that last warmup is Canadian champion Joannie Rochette, a strong medal contender planning to compete despite the death Saturday night of her 55-year-old mother, who suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after arriving in Vancouver. As if that weren't enough, the group includes former world champion Miki Ando of Japan and world medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy.
Flatt, who placed fifth at the 2009 Worlds, is considered a medal contender here if she can skate as well as she did at the U.S. championships last month.
The ladies favorite, South Korea's Kim Yu-Na, drew the 23rd starting position, putting her in the next-to-last warmup group.
Mirai Nagasu, the other American in the ladies event, will skate 11th, starting the third of six warmup groups.
The short program is planned to last four and a half hours, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
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