Russian pair claim bronze in Los Angeles

Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (AFP Photo / Mark Ralston)
Russian figure skaters Alexander Smirnov and Yuko Kawaguchi have clinched the bronze medal in the pairs event at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles.

The gold went to the reigning champions, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy from Germany. They left China's and Russia’s pairs far behind.

Smirnov and Kawaguchi were lying in second place after the first day of the event, but were unable to hold on during the free skate on Wednesday, and let Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao slip to second.

Meanwhile, things are not that shiny for the Russian fans in the men’s contest. After the short program, the best among the Russians, Sergey Voronov, is just ninth. Meanwhile, Brian Joubert of France clinched the lead ahead of American Evan Lysacek and Canada’s Patrick Chan.

The ISU 2009 World Figure Skating Championships will continue Thursday with the Original Dance and the Men’s Free Skating.