Dec 6, 2013, 5:31 AM EDT
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.
— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) December 6, 2013
Mar 12, 2014, 4:09 PM EDT
Olympic champions Yohan Blake, Sally Pearson and Jenn Suhr were the first headliners announced Wednesday as part of the Adidas Grand Prix field. The Adidas Grand Prix, set for June 14 in New York, is one of two Diamond League track and field meets held in the U.S. The other is the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. Blake, the joint…
Mar 12, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT
U.S. hasn’t hosted an Olympics since 2002.
Mar 12, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT
Soccer star to promote Buenos Aires event.
Mar 12, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT
Cycling, speed skating medalist to trek more than 7,000 miles.
Mar 12, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
Ten-time Summer Paralympic medalist adds Winter medal to collection.
Mar 12, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
A model of the toilet inside also brought in.
Mar 12, 2014, 7:47 AM EDT
German screamed repeatedly while lying in netting.
Mar 12, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
American posts best-ever World Cup downhill result, moves up overall standings.
Mar 12, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
U.S. wheelchair curling team faces critical games.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT
Former University of Minnesota goalie was prepared to quit the sport.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT
Crystal globes at stake in final races of the season.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:21 AM EDT
Women train where “a few yellow lamps light up a cavernous, sparsely furnished room.”
Mar 11, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT
Americans’ long winning streak snapped.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:27 AM EDT
Two Olympians and several Olympic sports athletes among 19 nominees.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT
Double amputee has pleaded not guilty to gun charges.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT
Olympic gymnast married longtime boyfriend.
Mar 11, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT
Two cases of White House-brewed beer in Canadian hands now.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT
U.S. still looking for first gold medal.
Mar 10, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
The 26.2-mile race is April 21.
Mar 10, 2014, 11:08 AM EDT
Hockey Hall of Fame already has Olympic display with Teemu Selanne’s socks.
- Tatyana McFadden claims surprise Paralympic silver medal 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom door, cricket bat appear at murder trial 1
- Maria Hoefl-Riesch crashes in World Cup Finals downhill 0
- Ted Ligety stuns in World Cup Finals downhill; new overall leader 0
- Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals preview 0
- President Obama sends beer to Canadian prime minister to settle Olympic bet 2
- Boston Marathon announces increased security 0