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Winter Olympic figure skating: Russians dominate pairs short program

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Now the inaugural figure skating team event is completed, the pairs began their individual short program Tuesday night on NBC’s primetime telecast. Only six couples were featured, including the two representing Team USA.

The top ranked pairs from Canada, Germany, China, and of course Russia rounded out this featured segment. Viewers who watched the team pairs short program earlier, this was virtually a repeat performance. Tampa Bay's own Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bertholomay followed the first of two highlights in pairs.

Team USA’s National champions, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, opened this televised program skating to contemporary music by Santana. They scored their personal best in international competition with an impressive routine.

Zhang and Bertholomay made their Olympic debut with a clean skate. NBC commentators stated they train in Ellenton, Florida. Recently the couple opened the Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex to the public. There were so many people the sheriff had to clear out the rink due to safety hazards.

Russia’s own Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov skated an exceptional short program to their hometown crowd who were on their feet. They received the highest score ever recorded. All they need to do is show up on Wednesday for their gold meal.

Here are the featured skaters in Tuesday’s broadcast by order of appearance, scores, and placement.

U.S. - Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir - 67.44 (9th)

U.S. - Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bertholomay - 56.90 (14th)

Canada - Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford - 72.21 (5th)

Germany - Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy - 79.64 (2nd)

Russia - Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov - 84.17 (1st)

China - Qing Pang and Jian Tong - 73.30 (4th)

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