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Belbin and Agosto Out of Nationals; Delobel and Schoenfelder out of Europeans

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The Chicago Tribune reports that reigning five-time U.S. ice dancing champions, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, are not going to be competing this year due to Agosto's back injury that led to their withdrawal from the Grand Prix Final last month. The article states that the couple does intend to compete at worlds; I suppose they'll be petitioned onto the team. That's pretty scary information, hopefully Agosto can get well by worlds and he and Belbin can re-establish themselves as major contenders for an Olympic medal next year.

Philip Hersh, also of the Tribune, reports that reigning world champion ice dancers Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France have pulled out of the upcoming European championships because of a shoulder injury Delobel suffered during the GPF, which the pair won. This is the second competition they'll miss; they also withdrew from the French nationals late last month.

Man, ice dancing is a rough sport. I feel like I'm reading the injury list for an NFL team lately when I hear how many skaters are hurt!