Virtue, Moir dance to lead in Nice

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir showed at yesterday’s short dance at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships a strong performance to samba & rhumba which was highlighted by fast twizzles, a round step sequence and perfectly done rotational lift. Vancouver Olympic champions earned a level four for their twizzles and the lift while the two rhumba parts and the round steps received a level three. Virtue/Moir finished first with 72.31 points.

“We were concerned about the levels, but now we are just happy about our performance. We feel very strong and much more confident now for the free dance,” said Virtue at the press conference.  “We do have big rivals with Meryl and Charlie. We are happy with our score and now we are just excited about the free dance, this is our program.” she noted.

Reigning World Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White performed their samba, rhumba and samba dance, which was featured with excellent twizzles, a level four curve lift and level three for circular footwork. American ice dance team earned 70.98 points and the second place.

“It felt fantastic out there; the best short dance we’ve skated all season, but we got three level threes, which was disheartening, simply because we felt we nailed our edges and everything. We love our free dance. We’re very excited to take the energy we put out there today and continue it into tomorrow. It’s a fantastic crowd and they are really behind us. Our training has prepared us for this moment. We’re really looking forward to getting out there.” Charlie White said.

French couple of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat had drawn to skate last and ended the short dances’ day on the high note with their passionate samba program. Reigning European Champions produced two level four Rhumba patterns, smooth footwork and a curve lift to score 69.13 points.

“It was crazy, we skated last and we didn’t know how our competitors had skated, but we knew it was up to us to do our job. We are relieved. And we never came as close to the top two as now. This gives us hope for tomorrow.” Pechalat commented. “We wanted to show our very best, to put out a technically strong short dance. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. The free dance is our best program and we feel very confident with it, with the story, with our costume. We’ll try to go for more than third place.” Fabian Bourzat added.

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje of Canada came fourth with 66.47 showing a wonderful performance to samba and rhumba. Russians Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov finished fifth with 65.34 points and Italians Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte are holding the sixth place with 65.11 points.

Photo: Matthew Stockman

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