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Canada's Joannie Rochette performs her short program in the at the world figure skating championships in Goteborg, Sweden, Wednesday. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

Canadian champion Joannie Rochette has a shot at a medal after finishing sixth in the women's short program Wednesday at the world figure-skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Rochette, from of Ile Dupas, Que., landed a triple-double en route to a score of 59.53 points. Canadian silver medallist Mira Leung of Vancouver is in 14th place with 50.69 points.

Rochette's sixth-place showing ensures she will be part of the last group on the ice in Thursday's free skate final.

"I was happy with the overall performance I gave," said the 22-year-old Rochette, who was 16th in the short program last year. "I tried to give everything I had out there, especially during the spins, the spiral sequence and the footwork."

European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy is the surprise leader after winning the short program with 64.28 points.

"I made one mistake and I thought I would be second," she said.

Japan's Mao Asada, last year's world silver medallist, is in second place (64.10 points), and countrywoman Yukari Nakano is third (61.10).

It was a rough day for two former world champions.

American Kimmie Meissner, who won the 2006 world championship in Calgary, is ninth (57.25), while Miki Ando of Japan, last year's world champion, ranks eighth (59.21).

Rochette had a triple-triple scheduled for her program but decided to take it out because she said it didn't feel quite right during the warmup. Rochette has been receiving a $100 reward from her coach Manon Perron when she's landed the triple-triple.

"As I was going into it, I was going, 'Okay, if I land a good triple flip I'm going to do the triple toe for sure' because there's still 100 bucks in the game,' " she said. "But when I landed the triple flip … it wasn't quite right.

"The speed, the height, the timing — it's just a feeling. I knew it would be smarter to do a double (toe loop) and lose the 100 bucks."

Rochette said she'll try for a triple-triple again Thursday.

"I was fifth at the Olympics and haven't been in that high a position since and I want to get back into the top five," she said. "To do that, I know I need the triple-triple."

Liz Manley was the last Canadian to win a women's singles medal at the world championships, in 1988 in Budapest.

With files from Canadian Press