Vancouver / Canada

The figure skating competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games continued in Vancouver, Canada, on Friday with the Compulsory Dance. 11, 528 tickets were sold for the event at the Pacific Coliseum.

Domnina/Shabalin (RUS) dance to the lead in the Tango Romantica

Russia’s World Champions Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin danced to the lead in the Tango Romantica Compulsory Dance. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada and Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) are following close behind.

Domnina/Shabalin put out an excellent performance of the Tango, looking very crisp in each step. The two-time European Champions picked up a season’s best score of 43.76 points (21.92 element score/21.48 program component score) for the first segment of the Ice Dance competition. “Of course we hoped to get high marks. We did our best of the season, but this is only the beginning (of the competition)”, Shabalin said. “We were working really hard in the past three weeks and we feel more confident after the European Championships”, he continued.

Skating last out of the 23 couples, Virtue/Moir excited the home crowd with their elegant and confident performance of the Tango. The two-time World medalists scored 42.74 points (21.40/21.34), which was also a season’s best. “Tessa and I were really pleased with today’s performance. It feels really good to get on to the Olympic ice. We’re looking forward to Sunday and Monday”, Moir told the press.

Davis/White were smooth and solid in their interpretation of the Tango. The Grand Prix Final Champions improved their previous seasons best as well when they earned 41.47 points (20.46/21.01).

“We were very pleased with our performance. It was a great audience and we felt really confident. After being here for a number of days already, it was great to finally get out there”, Davis commented.

2006 Olympic and reigning World silver medalists Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto (USA) remained in contention for a medal. They came in fourth at 40.83 points. European silver medalists Federica Faiella/ Massimo Scali (ITA) are also close to the podium at 39.88 points. 2008 World Champions Isabelle Delobel/ Olivier Schoenfelder (FRA) finished sixth with 37.99 points. The French hadn’t competed since December 2008, following Delobel’s shoulder injury and pregnancy.

The figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games continues Sunday with the Original Dance.