Wenjing Sui/Cong Han capture lead in exciting Pairs Short Program

- Helsinki, Finland

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 continued in Helsinki, Finland, Wednesday evening with the Pairs Short Program.

Wenjing Sui/Cong Han capture lead in exciting Pairs Short Program

Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China captured the lead in an exciting Pairs Short Program. Germany’s Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot edged out Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir of Russia for second place by just 0.47 points. It was a high level competition with many teams achieving a personal or season’s best score.

Sui/Han impressed in their “Blues for Klook” not only with an excellent side by side triple toe, throw triple flip and triple twist, but also with precise footwork. The two-time and reigning World silver medalists posted a personal best with 81.23 points. “We did our best in the program as we always try to do. We worked so hard for that. Today we got a high level and a high score and we feel so lucky. We never think about the scores, just about giving our best in the program”, Han said. “Tomorrow we hope we can do everything very well and we just want to enjoy. I had surgery last year and a hard time. When I came back to the ice rink I just wanted to enjoy every day”, added Sui.

Savchenko/Massot opened their entertaining Lindy Hop program “That Man” with an amazing triple twist that was rated a level four and drew +3 GOEs from all nine judges. However, Savchenko touched down with her hand on the side by side triple Salchow and stepped out of the landing of the throw triple Axel. The European silver medalists rallied back with their lift, footwork, death spiral and side by side spin that all merited a level four. Savchenko/Massot set a new personal best of 79.84 points. “I am not too satisfied. I did mistakes on both the solo jump and the throw. But after a difficult season with list of breaks due to different injuries we didn't have a perfect preparation. I also felt tired today with this quite early practice and late competition”, Savchenko commented.

Tarasova/Morozov’s Electro Swing routine to “Glam” featured a big triple twist, side by side triple toe and four more level-four elements, Tarasova only two-footed the throw triple loop. The European Champions earned 79.37 points. Tarasova had come back from a bad fall in the morning practice, where she suffered a cut to her knee that required ten stitches. “Our doctors did everything possible for me to feel comfortable. We were thinking about withdrawing because after this incident we left the ice immediately, there was a long break off the ice, we didn't know how I would feel in skates. But when I was asked "will you skate?", I said "I will!" And I wasn't thinking about the pain during our performance”, Tarasova told the press and her partner called her simply “a hero”.

Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang (CHN) came fourth with 75.23 points. Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) placed fifth (74.26 points) followed by Liubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) at 73.14 points. All three teams achieved a new personal best score. Two-time and reigning World Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) are currently ranked seventh after wobbles on the triple toe and throw triple Lutz (72.67 points). 2014 Olympic and World silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) finished only 11th after he fell when catching her on the triple twist and she missed the throw triple flip.

28 Pairs competed in the Short Program and the top 16 advanced to the Free Skating. The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 continue Thursday with the Men’s Short Program and the Pairs Free Skating. 

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