This does not always hold true. Of course the best recent example other than Kwan/Lipinski that jumps to mind is that Yagudin never won Russian nationals but beat Plushenko every time but once at worlds. Petrenko was 3rd at Soviet Nationals in 92 behind Urmanov and won Olympics. At 96 Worlds where Eldredge was the US silver medalist behind Galindo, both skated very well in that competition and medalled. Yet Todd was first and Rudy was third. The same reversal in placement happened in 91 worlds with Yamaguchi and Harding and 85 Worlds when Klimova and Ponomarenko were actually the Soviet national champs over Bestemianova and Bukin but wound up second the rest of the season and the quadrennial. So there is precedent for the national number 2 or even 3 from a strong country coming out ahead.That is an excellent point. There was always a tacit agreement in figure skating that international judges should not be so impolite as to disregard the wishes of member federations with regard to their own skaters.
I remember this was a point of contention in 1998 when Tara Lipinski (the U.S. number two) was palced ahead of Mivchelle kwan (number one at U.S. nationals.) That outcome was regarded as ungentlemanly.
Last edited by jcoates; 11-29-2009 at 12:39 AM. Reason: new info added