Veteran Chinese duo takes pairs figure skating lead

Photo by: Eileen Blass

Full story: USA Today

Of course, Valentine’s Day belonged to the pairs. It belonged to the Chinese married couple, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, who finished first, as well as to the American couples who spent the day competing against each other Sunday in the first figure skating event of the Vancouver Olympics.

And in the end, it almost belonged to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who skated last, a beautifully expressive and refined short program to Send in the Clowns, but finished second, behind Shen and Zhao. Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov placed third, setting up what promises to be a hotly contested finish in today’s long program.

“Everything is close so everything can change,” said the legendary Tamara Moskvina, who coaches Kavaguti and Smirnov. The Russian pair said they would have dinner and decide whether to include a rare throw quadruple salchow in their long program.

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