China seventh place at figure skating team event at Sochi Olympics

Updated: 2014-02-09 08:02:40

( Xinhua)

SOCHI  - China settled for the seventh place of the standings in the figure skating team event at Sochi Olympics on Saturday due to the disadvantage in the ice dance short dance and the ladies short program.

The team event is contested by 10 teams. Each team is composed of one man, one lady, and one pair, who will complete a short program, and one ice dance couple who will complete a short dance. The top five out of 10 teams after the short program/short dance qualify for the free skating/free dance.

China clinched the third place in the standings two days ago after the men's short program and the pairs short program, but the team showed their weakness in the ice dance and the ladies. After finishing four competitions, China was placed seventh out of 10 with 20 points, missing the chance to compete in the pairs free skating.

China seventh place at figure skating team event at Sochi Olympics

Huang Xintong (L) and Zheng Xun of China embrace each other after their figure skating team ice dance short dance at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 8, 2014. They skated as the first pair, and finally scored 47.88 points to stay in the 10th place.[Photo/Xinhua]

China's national champion Zhang Kexin scored 54.58 points in her Olympic debut, ranked sixth. Her teammates Huang Xintong/Zheng Xun did not perform well as they skated as the first pair, and finally scored 47.88 points to stay in the 10th place.

"Yes, it's a normal result we have expected. Because we are strong in the pairs, our ranking was good the day before yesterday," said team leader Yang Dong.

"We still don't know too much about the team event, so it's a good experience for us to learn," he added.

Russia still led the standings with 47 points while Canada followed with 41 points. The United States came the third at 34 points.

Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov of Russia scored 135.09 points in the pairs free skating. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch of Canada trailed in 129.74 points and Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek of Italy managed to earn 20.82 points.

Earlier in the day, world champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White helped the United States rise from the fifth place to the third at the ice dance short dance.

Meryl Davis/Charlie White, Olympic silver medalists in Vancouver, performed flawlessly and infectiously to score 75.98 points, just 1.68 short of their seasonal best.

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada, the reigning Olympic champions, trailed in 72.98 points. Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev, bronze medalists in the world championships in 2013, came in third with 70.27 points.

"We're really excited to be back in the hunt for a medal. Charlie and I were definitely focused on our performance today. Now that we're done, it's nice to see the US back on top there," said Davis.

In the ladies short program, Russian rising star Yulia Lipnitskaya took the lead as she scored her seasonal best result.

The 15-year-old dominated the rink as she beat Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan with an outstanding score of 72.9. Skating to the music You Don't Give Up on Love, the confident European champion in 2014 showed her talent and passion in an almost perfect performance.

"I did what I wanted to do on the ice today. Of course there was a bit of worry but, thank God, I coped well with everything I had to do. I knew I had to be calm, I had to do it all for the team," Lipnitskaya said.

Mao, 23, fell onto the ice when she missed the triple axel with a result of 64.07 points, 6.77 points short of Carolina Kostner of Italy, the bronze medalist in the European championships in January.

"My score reflected the jump I messed up. It didn't go the way it had been in training. I couldn't land one in the six minutes of warm-up, and that carried over into the competition," said Mao.

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