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Kerrigan takes a shot; ISU judges its judges

Obviously bored, her patience wearing thin, Nancy Kerrigan finally took aim at Tonya Harding.

Did she watch Harding skate, she was asked at a news conference Saturday in Lillehammer.

She intended to, she said, but after Harding's shoelace problems, she was too busy preparing for her own routine. "They're bending a lot of rules, I guess," she said of the judge's decision to let Harding re-skate four spots later.

The silver medalist made it clear she had no intention of reconciling with Harding _ "There really isn't a relationship" _ and gave this terse description of their chance encounter Feb. 16.

"I said, "Well, it's been a tough month, hasn't it?' " she recalled, then indicated she ended the conversation to get ready for the team picture.

At Friday night's awards ceremony, which was delayed while a recording of the Ukraine national anthem could be found, Kerrigan thought the delay was to allow gold medalist Oksana Baiul to prepare her makeup.

"Oh, come on," Kerrigan said, her words audible on CBS. "So she's going to get out here and cry again. What's the difference?"

In Hamar, meanwhile, International Skating Union vice president Lawrence Demmy and Sally Stapleford, chairman of its technical committee for figure skating, admitted some judges might have missed errors by skaters.

"This is just my opinion," Demmy said, "but having looked at the free dance at the time, there was no question (bronze medalists Jayne) Torvill and (Christopher) Dean's lift did display acrobatics and should have been a 0.1 deduction. Similarly, the splits by Dean could've been another deduction.

"Then again, there is no doubt, in my opinion, the two separations by (gold medalists Oksana) Gritschuk and (Evgeni) Platov were well in the range of not-permitted moves."

Separations of more than five seconds in the middle of a routine are illegal and require a deduction of at least .2. One separation by the gold medalists was timed at 13 seconds by several TV networks.

In the women's technical program, Stapleford wondered if all the judges had seen Baiul landing on two feet on a triple lutz.

"It is .2 if you touch down (with a hand) and .3 or, usually, .4 if you land on two feet, which she did," Stapleford said. "I'm presuming by the marks that some didn't see it."

Had Baiul received the deductions Wednesday, she might have dropped to fourth and been unable to overtake Kerrigan in the final.