The 2013 World Figure Skating Championships got off to a rousing start today in London, Ontario, Canada, with the pairs' short program, where reigning silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov are currently out in front after the short program. But home favorites Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford stole the show, taking second after a rousing ovation for their clean performance.
Pairs' short: Videos/Play-by-play
Last to skate, Volosozhar/Trankov avoided the issues they had last year at Worlds, where a fall on their death spiral left them playing major catchup in the free skate. They were clean in their short program today, scoring a 75.84 to take the lead by about two points going into the free skate on Friday.
Duhamel/Radford wowed the home crowd with a clean short program with the most difficult technical elements in the competition. They hit side-by-side triple lutzes and a throw triple lutz to squeeze into second with a 73.61. Reigning champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy had minor problems on their side-by-side triple toes and are currently in third behind the Canadians by 0.14.
Former World bronze medalists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov came into the competition under the radar but proved that they are still in the mix with a fourth-place showing after skating a clean short program. They trail Savchenko/Szolkowy by under four points.
The other standout pair of the competition was the second Canadian pair, former Canadian champions Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch, who started the barrage of big scores after they skated in the second to last group. They were clean and full of confidence, currently in fifth going into the free skate, just 0.73 behind Kavaguti/Smirnov. The top five teams are over five points ahead of the rest of the field, with former World champions Qing Pang/Jian Tong, competing in their 15th consecutive World Championships, in sixth after a few mistakes.
U.S. silver medalists Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim skated a solid program to put themselves in 12th, just ahead of teammates Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir. The U.S. champs had one major mistake, a fall by Shnapir on his solo triple salchow, and are in 13th with a 55.68.
Competition continues later today with the men's short program.
PAIRS (after the short program)
1. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov RUS - 75.84
2. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford CAN - 73.61
3. Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy GER - 73.47
4. Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov RUS - 69.98
5. Kristen Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch CAN - 69.25
6. Qing Pang/Jian Tong CHN - 63.95
7. Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov RUS - 61.91
8. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres FRA - 60.98
9. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek ITA - 59.07
10. Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang CHN - 58.52
11. Wenjing Sui/Cong Han CHN - 57.65
12. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim USA - 55.73
13. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir USA - 55.68
14. Stacey Kemp/David King GBR - 48.60
15. Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise ITA - 47.82
16. Mari Vartmann/Aaron Van Cleave GER - 47.36
17. Elizaveta Makarova/Leri Kenchadze BUL - 36.48
18. Magdalena Klatka/Radoslaw Chruscinski POL - 35.44