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Olympic Figure Skating Team Event: Team Russia takes the lead after pairs short

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The Olympic figure skating team event continued today, February 6 with the pairs short program. It seemed that the excitement built as many of the top teams brought their best.

Team Russia

With the strong performance of Evgeni Plushenko, who finished second in the men’s short program earlier today, it was time for another Russian favorite. Pair team Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. Though it’s still early to conclude, it seems as if the Russian dominance of figure skating is being restored during these Olympic Games.

Volosozhar and Trankov were right on target today landing their side by side triple salchows, a huge triple twist and a larger than life throw triple loop. They were outstanding, earning a total of 83.79 points and taking first place.

With the strong skate from Plushenko, giving Team Russia 9 points, Volosozhar and Trankov’s brilliant skate brought another 10 points to Team Russia, giving them the lead.

Team USA

This was expected to be the weakest event for Team USA, yet Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir skated fairly well. Marissa struggled with their side by side triple salchows, putting down her hand, but was able to keep herself from falling. The rest of their program was strong and exciting. Castelli and Shnapir looked confident and managed to take fifth place and earn 6 points for Team USA.

Team China

Pair team Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang skated beautifully. It seems as if this team has pulled everything together very nicely and may just be contenders in the individual event as well. They are in third place giving Team China yet another boost, after a solid performance in the men’s event by Han Yan.

Team Canada

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford had a beautiful skate today, landing side by side triple lutz’s. It was one of their strongest performances all season and they were incredible to watch. Their were a few minor mistakes here and there, but overall it was a great performance and they finished in second place.

The team event continues on Saturday with the dance short and ladies short programs. The bottom five teams will be eliminated, whereas the top five teams will move onto preform free skates in each discipline. The pairs short program from today, along with the men’s short program will be airing on NBC tonight, February 6 at 8:00pm PST.

Pair's short program standings:

1. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov RUS --10 team points
2. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford CAN - 73.10--9 team points
3. Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang CHN - 71.01--8 team points
4. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek ITA - 70.31--7 team points
5. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir USA - 64.25--6 team points
6. Maylin Wende/Daniel Wende GER - 60.82--5 team points
7. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres FRA - 57.45--4 team points
8. Narumi Takahashi/Ryuichi Kihara JPN - 46.56--3 team points
9. Julia Lavrentieva/Yuri Rudyk UKR - 46.34--2 team points
10. Stacey Kemp/David King GBR - 44.70--1 team point

Overall team standings after the men's and pair's short programs:

1. Russia - 19
2. Canada - 17
3. China - 15
4. Japan - 13
5. Germany - 10
6. France - 10
7. United States - 10
8. Italy - 8
9. Ukraine - 5
10. Great Britain - 3

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