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BOBEK THE LATEST TO WITHDRAW FROM WORLDS

Nicole Bobek Tuesday withdrew from the World Figure Skating Championships, citing continued problems with a two-month-old hip injury.

Bobek's spot was offered to second alternate Angela Nikodinov, the fifth finisher at this year's U.S. Championships, who couldn't be reached because she was out of the country. But Nikodinov, 17, of San Pedro, Calif., is likely to decline because she hasn't been training seriously for weeks.

That would leave Olympic silver medalist Michelle Kwan and first alternate Tonia Kwiatkowski to represent the United States in the meet that begins Sunday in Minneapolis. Kwiatkowski, fourth finisher at the 1998 national meet, took the place opened by the withdrawal of Olympic champion and defending world champion Tara Lipinski.

It was also announced that Lipinski and Kwan will headline the Hershey's Kisses Figure Skating Challenge April 17 in Springfield, Mass. It will be the first time since the Nagano Games that Lipinski and Kwan will be in the same event.

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