Sunday, 22/4/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

OLYMPICS: RUSSIANS DOMINATE PAIRS SHORT PROGRAMS

In the Pairs Short Programs, the Russians placed 1st and 3rd, with the Germans sandwiched in between. Six of the top 10 teams competed last week at the Team Trophy Event, thus squelching the theory that tired legs would mar the individual competitions.

Volosozhar+Trankov, RUS, skated to “Masquerade Waltz” and received Level4 for all their elements. The 84.17 points broke the previous highest score. The partisan crowd roared their approval at every move, especially the throw triple loop, and high-flying triple twist.

“When all the audience is up on its feet, it gives us great energy”, said Trankov.

Savchenko+Szolkowy, GER, cut and pasted an old Free Program to “The Pink Panther” and claimed 2nd place. Even with the bright lights, Savchenko’s fluorescent pink body suit illuminated every playful move made by the four time world champions.  Their 79.64 total score was a personal best, but some GOE marks and lower element Levels reflected the risk taken with a new program.

Szolkowy said of their performance, “The elements were great, and it was fun to skate.” Later he added, “These are the Olympic Games. We want to fight for the gold medal.”

Stolbova+Klimov, (RUS), understudies and training mates to the Russian leaders, were 3rd, just 4.43 points behind the Germans.  The2014 European silver medalists skated to “Surrender” by Jesse Cook. Their elements, except the death spiral and twist, were all Level4.  Hundreds of Russian flags and cheers of “Ro-ssi-ya, Ro-ssi-ya” filled the Iceberg Skating Palace as they took their final bow.

“Today the crowd was a huge bonus. They made us skate much better than any other day,” said Stolbova.

Pang+Tong, (CHN), 34, skated to “Lady Caliph” and placed 4th with 73.30 points. The 2010 Olympic silver medalists have skated together for 20 years and plan to retire after the Olympics.

Duhamel+Radford, CAN, skated after Stolbova+Klimov. Duhamel noted, “It was difficult to go after the Russians. They had such a great performance. It felt like stepping on to the ice at a hockey game in Canada.” Skating to “Tribute”, written by Radford, the Quebec based team scored 72.21 points just 1.09 behind the Chinese.  They placed 5th.

Moore-Towers+Moscovitch, CAN, skated to Motley Crew-Mic Macs, their 2012-13 program. The Canadian silver medalists received Level4 for their spin, lift, and step sequence.   A negative GOE was given to their backward inside death spiral.  The unique choreography produced a lively and entertaining performance.  It earned 70.92 points and 6th place.

Castelli+Shnapir, USA, 2014 US National Champions, skated a personal best (67.44) to “Black Magic Woman and placed 9th.  They felt they benefited by skating in the Team Event.

“Getting two run-throughs out there and getting a feel for the ice and the crowd and taking everything in from the Games, gave us almost another advantage tonight, “ said Shnapir.

Zhang+Bartholomay, USA, US National silver medalists, scored 56.90 points and placed 14th.

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