Olympic Skaters Meet Again

 

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - It's not surprising that Olympic champions Brian boitano, Katarina Witt, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov return to Budapest with fond memories.

All four, fresh from victories in Calgary less than a mnoth ago, all return to the Hungarian capital eyeing another triumph at the World Figure Skating Championships, which began on Tuesday at the Sports Hall.

"I really like this stadium," Boitano said. "It's my favorite rink in Europe. I scored some 6.0's here."

Boitano, from Sunnyvale, Calif., won a competition in Budapest in November on his way to his gold medal in Calgary three months later. He set a mark then for most perfect 6.0's in the short program, then added three more in the long routine.

Now, Boitano hopes to make another bit of skating history - landing the first quadruple jump in competition.

"I want to put in the quadruple jump," Boitano said between practices. "The reason why is because every goal I've wanted in skating i've achieved - a world title (1986), an Olympic gold medal. The only thing left for me is the quadruple."

He will be up against Canadian Brian Orser, the man he beat in Calgary, who will be out to defend the world title he won last year in Cincinnati. Boitano won the world crown in 1986 and was second to Orser last year.

Witt, the 22-year-old East German, returns to the Sports Hall where she won the second of her six European crowns then.

"I remember in 1984 I thought the arena was so big," Witt says. "Now after skating at teh Saddledome, I came back and found it so small."

"I also spent a summer in Budapest and had a very good time there," said Witt, who is seeking her fourth world crown to go with two Olympic and six European title.

Witt is set to battle American Debi Thomas in a rematch of the dueling Carmens they had a Calgary.