The pairs free skate commenced yesterday, March 26, at the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships.
It has been a long journey for German team, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who won their first-ever world title in 2008. Now six years later, they reclaimed their title for what will most likely be their final competition together. Being one of the most decorated figure skating teams, it was a devastating loss for them to not win gold at the Olympic Games back in February, yet they came back strong at the World Championships and with the absence of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Savchenko and Szolkowy shined.
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy skated two strong programs and their free skate was so well skated. Winning the World Championships must be bittersweet for them, but at least they have completed this season as champions.
Capturing the silver medal was Russian Olympic bronze medalists, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov. Stolbova and Klimov lacked some of the sharpness that they displayed in Sochi and seemed unsteady. They had two solid performances, but they seemed a bit off. They looked visibly upset about the results, but this being their first World Championships, settling for silver is not too bad at all.
After a seventh place finish in Sochi, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were ready to come back and fight for the podium at the World Championships. They skated well, with the exception of a fall by Meagan on their side-by-side jumps, but other then that they had a solid free skate, which was enough for them to claim the bronze medal.
Sadly the American teams did not fare too well. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir struggled and finished in eleventh place with Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finishing in fourteenth in their world championship debut.
There were mixed feelings about the pairs event. For Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, this marks an end of an era with a victory following a huge loss. For Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, this seems to be the start of their adventure and for Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford it was a kind reward after a challenging season. Either way it was a fascinating event that begins the journey to the next Olympic Games in 2018.
The ladies short program kicks off tomorrow, March 27, which is sure to bring about more mixed emotions.
Pairs free skate: Final standings