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Davis, White give US ice dance gold Americans set new world record scores

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 17, (AFP): Two-time world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White claimed a first Olympic figure skating ice dancing gold for the United States with new world record scores on Monday. Vancouver silver medallists Davis, 27, and White, 26, led all the way to take the title by 4.53 points on reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov won bronze after the free dance final at the Iceberg Skating Palace. “We’re so excited we’re in shock a little. I’m not sure what we’re feeling,” said Davis. “It kind of all came together for us and we’re so pleased to be here. We’re in disbelief.”

The Americans, who train with the Canadian dancers in Detroit under Russian-born coach Marina Zoueva, completed their medal set after their silver in Vancouver and team bronze in Sochi. They scored 116.63 points for their free skate to “Scheherazade” - over two points higher than the previous record they achieved in the team event just over a week ago. After already setting a new record in the short dance on Sunday they scored an overall total record of 195.52, beating their previous best from the Grand Prix final by over four points.

“The crowd was really alive out there today for all the teams and we fed off the energy,” said White. “We were well prepared by our coach Marina (Zoueva) in coming here and doing our job.” “I felt like we had done everything we could from the beginning of this competition, in practice, team event, this event. And 17 years of hard work was justified. To come away with a gold medal is amazing.” The Canadians, who Zoueva led to gold four years ago, scored 114.66 points for their skate to “Petit Adagio, Waltz in Concerto No. 2” for an overall total of 190.99.

“That was another great skate for us,” said Moir. “There was a lot of pressure tonight. We felt it more this afternoon probably than yesterday. We just wanted to go out and have a great skate for us and have our moment and we felt like we did that.” Virtue added: “I think with more experience comes more pressure, more expectation and I think what we had in Vancouver, maybe the benefit was not knowing what the Olympics are really all about and having not experienced it but I think coming in we knew exactly the magnitude and the scope of it.” Ilinykh and Katasalapov had already won gold in the new team event in which the Canadians finished silver medallists and the Americans took bronze.

They scored 110.44 for their emotional performance to “Swan Lake” which earned a standing ovation from their adoring home crowd for 183.48 overall. Since it made its Olympic debut at the 1976 Innsbruck Games it is just the fourth time that a non-Russian or former Soviet team have won ice dancing. Ice dancing is a different discipline and less athletic than pairs skating. It resembles ballroom dancing - the dancers have to stay close together and there is less lifting and more intricate, rhythmic footwork.

Olympic Medals Table/Podium/Schedule

Medals Table
    Gold    Silver    Bronze    Total
Germany    8    3    2    13
Russia    5    7    6    18
Netherlands    5    5    7    17
United States    5    4    9    18
Norway    5    3    7    15
Switzerland    5    2    1    8
Belarus    5    0    1    6
Canada    4    7    4    15
Poland    4    0    0    4
China    3    2    1    6
Sweden    2    5    2    9
Austria    2    5    1    8
France    2    0    4    6
Japan    1    3    2    6
Czech Republic    1    3    1    5
Slovenia    1    1    3    5
South Korea    1    1    1    3
GreatBritain    1    0    1    2
Slovakia    1    0    0    1
Italy    0    2    3    5
Australia    0    2    1    3
Finland    0    2    0    2
Latvia    0    1    2    3
Croatia    0    1    0    1
Kazakhstan    0    0    1    1
Ukraine    0    0    1    1
Men/Women
Figure Skating
Ice dancing
Gold: United States (Meryl Davis, Charlie White)
Silver: Canada (Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir)
Bronze: Russia (Elena Ilinykh, Nikita Katsalapov)
Men
Ski jumping - teams
Gold: Germany (Wank, Kraus, Wellinger, Freund)
Silver: Austria (Hayboeck, Morgenstern, Diethart, Schlierenzauer)
Bronze: Japan (Shimizu, Takeuchi, Ito, Kasai)
Bobsleigh
Two-man
Gold: Russia (Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Voevoda)
Silver: Switzerland (Beat Hefti, Alex Baumann)
Bronze: United States (Steven Holcomb, Steven Langton)
Freestyle
Aerials
Gold: Anton Kushnir (BLR)
Silver: David Morris (AUS)
Bronze: Jia Zongyang (CHN)
Women
Biathlon
12.5km mass start
Gold: Darya Domracheva (BLR)
Silver: Gabriela Soukalova (CZE)
Bronze: Tiril Eckhoff (NOR)
Scheduled
Tuesday (Five Gold Medals)
08:00-11:00 — Curling M + W — Play-offs (Ice Cube)
10:00-12:00 — Alpine skiing — Giant Slalom W — 1st run (Alpine Site — Rosa Khutor)
11:00-13:30 — Ice Hockey M — Quarter-final play-offs (Bolshoi Ice Palace)
11:00-13:30 — Ice Hockey W — Classification 7-8 (Shaiba Arena)
12:30-13:20 — Nordic Combined — Large hill — individual jump (RusSki Gorki)
12:30-14:30 — Short-track — 1000 m W qualification, 500 m M qualification, 3000m W relay Final (Iceberg)
13:00-16:00 — Curling M + W — Play-offs (Ice Cube)
13:30-15:10 — Alpine skiing — Giant Slalom W — 2nd run — (Alpine site — Rosa Khutor)
15:00-15:45 — Nordic Combined — Large hill — individual 10km cross country — (RusSki Gorki)
15:30-18:00 — Ice Hockey M — Quarter-final play-offs (Bolshoi Ice Palace)
15:30-18:00 — Ice Hockey W — Classification 5-6 (Shaiba Arena)
16:00-17:00 — Speed skating — 10,000m M — (Adler Arena)
16:45-18:25 — Freestyle — Half-pipe M — Qualification (Extreme Park — Rosa Khutor)
18:00-21:00 — Curling M + W — Play-offs (Ice Cube)
18:15-20:10 — Bobsleigh — Two-women — rounds 1 and 2 (Sanki sliding centre)
20:00-22:30 — Ice Hockey M — Quarter-final play-offs (Bolshoi Ice Palace)
20:00-22:30 — Ice Hockey M — Quarter-final play-offs (Shaiba Arena)
20:30-21:30 — Freestyle — Half-pipe M — FINAL (Extreme Park — Rosa Khutor)

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