Golden Skate

Domnina and Shabalin take the lead in Ice Dance

Russia’s Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin took the lead in the Compulsory Dance, followed by Tessa Virtue and      Scott Moir of Canada and USA’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The Tango Romantica was selected for the Compulsory Dance. The dance, which was invented by Ludmilla Pakhomova, Alexander Gorshkov and Elena Tchaikovskaya, was first performed in Moscow in 1974.

Domnina and Shabalin gave a commanding and expressive performance, showing excellent interpretation of the tango. The World Champions placed first with a new personal best of 43.76 (21.92/21.84).

“Of course we hoped to get high marks,” said Shabalin. “We did our best of   the season, but this is only the beginning [of the competition].   We were working really hard in the past three weeks and we feel more confident   after the European Championships.”

Virtue and Moir are just over a point behind with a new personal best of 42.74 (21.40/21.34). The Canadian Champions displayed exquisite body lines and     showed great intensity in their dance.

“Tessa and I were really pleased   with today’s performance,” Moir told the press. “It feels really good to get on to the Olympic ice.   We’re looking forward to Sunday and Monday.”

U.S. Champions Davis and White showed wonderful flow across the ice in their dance, and also earned a new personal best of 41.47 (20.46/21.01) points.

“We were very pleased with   our performance,” said Davis. “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.”

Teammates Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto showed attack and strong edges in their dance, and are currently in a close fourth with 40.83 (20.16/20.67) points.

Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy delivered a passionate dance, and currently sit in fifth with a new personal best 39.88 (19.82/20.06).

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France were technically strong, but lacked the clarity and definition compared to that of the higher      ranked teams. They are currently sixth (37.99).

Russia’s Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski currently sit in seventh (37.18), followed by Sinead Kerr and John Kerr of Great Britain (37.02)  and Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France (36.13).

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