US ice dances Davis/White beat Canadians for Olympic title

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-18 10:22:56

World No. 1 ice dancers Meryl Davis/Charlie White pulled out an Olympic gold medal performance for the United States, winning a duel against arch-rivals Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir on Monday.

The American duo put on a near-perfect free skate to Scheherazade by N. Rimski-Korsakov to score a new season best of 116.63 points, refreshing their own record of the total score with 195.52 after a record-setting overnight short program on 78.89. They edged the Canadian defending champions by 4.53 points.

"We're kind of in shock a little. I'm not sure what we're feeling," said Davis. "I've never skated and visualized the performance at the same time and tonight that's kind of how it felt. It felt great."

Four years ago in Vancouver, there were Virtue and Moir on the highest podium of the Winter Games while Davis and White had to settle for a silver.

The US dancers, however, have won every competition they have entered in the last two seasons, though swapping the world title for the past Olympic cycle with the Canadians.

Davis, now 27, and White, 26, won the 2011 and 2013 world championships, while Virtue, 24, and Moir, 26, took the 2010 and 2012 world titles.

"I felt like we had done everything we could from the beginning of this competition, in practice, team event, this event. And 17 years of hard work was justified. To come away with a gold medal is amazing," commented White.

In face, the two dominating ice dance couples from North America, having both started training with each other since 1997 and both considering retirement after the Olympics, have both been training for many years in Detroit under the tutelage of Russian Marina Zueva and, until 2012, another Russian Igor Shpilband.

"We were well prepared by our coach Marina in coming here and doing our job," White emphasized.

"We felt immense pressure. We trained 17 years for this moment, " said Virtue.

"That was our best performance of the year for that program," echoed Moir. "It's special for us to perform it for the last time."

European silver medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia took the bronze medal with a total score of 183.48 points after a 73.04-point short program and a 110.44 free dance.

France's Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat were the fourth on 177.22, ahead of another Russian pair Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev on 172.92.

China's sole Olympic competitors in ice dancing, Huang Xintong/Zheng Xun, who announced to retire after the Sochi Winter Games, only managed 48.96 points for their short dance on Sunday, finishing 23rd out of 24 pairs of participants to be disqualified for Monday's free dance.

Since ice dancing was introduced to the Olympic Winter Games in 1976, Russia/Soviet Union have won it seven times, Britain and France have one gold each and Canada won the title at Vancouver 2010.

Posted in: Olympics, Winter Sport

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