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Punsalan and Swallow Win Title After Roca and Sur Withdraw

January 08, 1994|RANDY HARVEY

DETROIT — Local favorites Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., won the dance competition in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Friday night at Joe Louis Arena after defending champions Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur withdrew.

The two teams were tied for first place after Tuesday's compulsory dances, but Roca and Sur, of Colorado Springs, Colo., skated their original dance the next day only two hours after Roca broke her left wrist in a practice collision with two other skaters and dropped to second.

Doctors decided afterward that the wrist required surgery because it had not set properly.

"Fortunately, I'm right-handed," Roca said. "I'm going on vacation."

She and Sur, a Russian defector, would not have been eligible for the one dance berth available to the United States in the Feb. 12-27 Winter Olympics in Norway because he is not a citizen.

They said they plan to continue competing together.

"I don't think we're going to start teaching judo," Roca said.

Punsalan and Swallow, who were married last September, earned the Olympic berth Friday night before a crowd of 8,687 with their first-place, free-dance program, which they skated to music from "The Mambo Kings."

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