Bern 2011 – Pairs Short Program
Germany’s Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy took the Pairs Short Program ahead of the two Russian couples Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov and Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov.
Savchenko/Szolkowy put out a characteristic folk program to “Khorobushko” that was highlighted by an excellent throw triple flip, a side by side triple toe, triple twist and difficult lift. The three-time European Champions scored 72.31 points. One judge awarded the couple a perfect ten for performance/execution.
“We are satisfied. It was a good performance”, Szolkowy commented. “The first three elements, the throw, the twist and the triple toe, are the hardest, although you also can make a mistake in the footwork. But when the first three elements are done, you almost can let it flow. Obviously, it is a relief”, he explained.
Skating to “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, Kavaguti/Smirnov produced a triple toe, throw triple loop and level four step sequence to score a seasons best of 69.49 points. “We are happy with tonight’s performance. I think we showed what we prepared for this competition, and tomorrow we also want to show what we prepared”, Kavaguti commented. “It’s really freezing in here, like the Russian winter! There were not so many spectators but their applause warmed our hearts”, Sirmnov said.
Bazarova/Larionov’s landed a triple toe, a high triple twist, but she stepped out of the throw triple flip in their routine to “Adagio” by Secret Garden. The couple from Perm earned 62.89 points. “We are upset about the throw. We usually don’t have problems with this element”, Bazarova said. “This isn’t the final result yet. We still have to fight, or better to show our best performance. So we don’t want to get too emotional right now”, she added.
Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek of Italy came fourth with a strong Tango program (60.08 points). Katarina Gerboldt/Alexander Enbert (RUS) also skated well to finish fifth at 57.50 points.