Russian pairs dominate figure skating Grand Prix Finals in Sochi
The two top spots on the podium at the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi went to the home athletes.
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov enjoyed a confident lead after the short program, and even two falls in the free skate couldn’t prevent them from snatching the gold medals with 204.55 points. The Russians also bagged the silver on the night, thanks to Vera Bazarova and Yury Larionov, who produced their best-ever free skate result. China’s Pang Qing and Tong Jian took the bronze, nine points down from the second place.Mao Asada snatched her third career Grand Prix title, confidently topping the ladies' competition.The Japanese scored 196.80 points to leave second-placed Ashley Wagner nearly 15 points behind. The bronze went to other Japanese representative Akiko Suzuki, while Russia’s Elizaveta Tukhtamysheva settled for fifth. The Japanese men did even better, taking the two top spots to leave season leader Patrick Chan of Canada in third. Daisuke Takahashi took the gold at 269.40 points, with just over five points separating him from fellow countryman and silver medalist, Yuzuru Hanyu. The ice dancing dominance of Meryl Davis and Charlie White was prolonged in Sochi. Their US duo received 183.39 points from the judges to win their fourth straight Grand Prix Finals. Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir finished second ahead of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat from France. The Grand Prix Finals were first test for the Iceberg Center, which will host the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014.