Skip to content

Davis/White best Virtue/Moir by slimmest of margins, lead at GP Final

Dec 6, 2013, 5:31 AM EDT

Meryl Davis, Charlie White AP

On rages the battle between the two best ice dance teams in the world. Friday at the Grand Prix Finals in Fukuoka, Japan, Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White squeaked out the narrowest of margins against rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, taking the lead after the short dance, 77.66 to 77.59.

“Wow,” remarked White in the Kiss and Cry after the scores came in. “So close,” replied Davis.

It’s the Americans who have dominated this rivalry over the last few years, winning the World Championships in 2011 and 2013 after the Canadians had captured gold at the Vancouver Games. Davis/White are going for their 15th consecutive Grand Prix gold medal, a record in the sport.

In the pairs short program, the favorites prevailed in what was a flurry of high-octane skating, one team putting out a show-stopping performance after the other. It was reigning world champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov who skated into the lead, scoring a 82.65. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, the Germans, were second with a 79.46.

Volosozhar/Trankov have appeared unstoppable this Grand Prix season, registering the two highest scores as no team has come within 25 points of them. But the Russian gold-medal favorites were forced to deliver as the final pair skating Friday after five teams put out season-best performance’s in Fukuoka.

There was less pressure on Davis/White and Virtue/Moir, who appear to be in a class by themselves. Even with four near-flawless dances before them, the top two teams enjoyed a margin of nearly nine points. Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev of Russia were in third, scoring a 68.90.

Davis/White and Virtue/Moir recorded the two highest-ever scores for a short dance, besting Davis/White’s mark from the 2013 World Championships of 77.13.

The Americans and Canadians train with one another and share the same coach in Detroit, an unusual arrangement that they feel brings out the best in both teams.

“I think that having such talent alongside of you that Tessa and Scott have every day in training and in competition does nothing but push Charlie and myself further,” Davis said. “It makes us want to be a better team every day.”

In pairs, Pang Qing and Tong Jian, the Vancouver silver medalists, were third after the short program, scoring a 75.40. Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford turned in their season’s best 73.07 to secure fourth place.

The Russians had struggled with their throw triple loop in the warm-up, Volosozhar double-rotating it at one point and two-footing another landing. But there was no trouble for them in a session that saw no falls on throws or side-by-side jumps.

Savchenko/Szolkowy, the four-time world champions and 2010 Olympic bronze medalists, were given a one-point deduction for a time violation, widening the gap between them and Volosozhar/Trankov.

Volosozhar/Trankov are looking to become just the fourth pairs team to win back-to-back Grand Prix Final gold medals. The last to do so? Savchenko/Szolkowy in 2010 and 2011.

Davis/White are looking for their fifth straight Grand Prix Final win.

Hanyu, Asada lead after short program at Grand Prix Final

Latest Posts
  1. U.S. women struggle, trail Russian brilliance after World Championships short program

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Elizaveta Tuktamysheva landed a triple Axel in one of the greatest short programs of all time.

  2. Canadians win World pairs title; best U.S. finish since 2011

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT

    AP AP

    The last time Canada won a World title in pairs was before the 2002 judging scandal.

  3. U.S. pairs outside top five after World Championships short program

    Mar 25, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT

    AP AP

    A slight improvement could mark the best U.S. pairs finishes since 2002.

  4. Usain Bolt to race individually in U.S. for first time since 2008

    Mar 25, 2015, 9:13 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Bolt’s last appearance in New York produced his first world record.

  5. Madison Chock, Evan Bates top World Championships short dance with personal best

    Mar 25, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The Olympians could become the second U.S. ice dance couple to win a World Championship.

  6. Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir preview World Championships men’s, pairs events

    Mar 24, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The Olympic and World champion returns to the site of a bloody collision.

  7. Boston 2024 calls for statewide referendum for Olympic bid

    Mar 24, 2015, 10:11 AM EDT

    Boston 2024

    Boston will not move forward with an Olympic bid if a majority of state and city residents don’t support it.

  8. Watch USA Luge video promoting fastest sport on ice

    Mar 24, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    USA Luge

    Olympians Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer star in an inside look at the sport.

  9. U.S. would top 2016 Olympic medal standings in virtual projection

    Mar 24, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT

    Rio 2016

    Tuesday marked 500 days out from the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.

  10. Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir preview World Championships women’s, ice dance events

    Mar 23, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT

    Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds Getty Images

    Three U.S. women have a shot at the podium, and an American ice dance couple could win gold.

  11. Upcoming milestones for Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin

    Mar 23, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT

    Lindsey Vonn, MIkaela Shiffrin Getty Images

    Both skiers may look to branch out next season.

  12. Park Tae-hwan, Olympic champion swimmer, banned 18 months

    Mar 23, 2015, 1:28 PM EDT

    Park Tae-hwan Getty Images

    Park tested positive for testosterone on Sept. 3.

  13. World Figure Skating Championships schedule

    Mar 23, 2015, 12:40 PM EDT

    Ashley Wagner Getty Images

    Plus, what’s at stake for U.S. skaters in Shanghai.

  14. Another world record for 90-plus-year-old relay team (video)

    Mar 23, 2015, 11:14 AM EDT

    Track and field Masters world record

    The oldest competitor at USATF Masters Indoors wants to run a 100m at age 100 at the Penn Relays.

  15. Anna Fenninger wins World Cup overall title in tight finish

    Mar 22, 2015, 9:56 AM EDT

    Anna Fenninger Getty Images

    Lindsey Vonn finished ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin.

  16. Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman to compete for first time since Olympics

    Mar 22, 2015, 7:25 AM EDT

    Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman Getty Images

    They will join the two best U.S. gymnasts of the last two years at a competition in Italy.

  17. Missy Franklin ends NCAA career with another individual title

    Mar 21, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT

    AP AP

    “This is what I gave things up for, and the best part is it doesn’t even feel like I gave anything up,”

  18. Marcel Hirscher earns unprecedented fourth straight World Cup overall title

    Mar 21, 2015, 1:02 PM EDT

    AP AP

    His closest rival is sitting out the final race Sunday.

  19. Mikaela Shiffrin takes third straight World Cup slalom season title (video)

    Mar 21, 2015, 11:37 AM EDT

    Mikaela Shiffrin Getty Images

    Why Shiffrin is unlikely to give up the slalom crown for quite some time.