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The Chinese `Perfect` Pair Wins 2 Straight Years

Posted March. 27, 2003 22:18,   


Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo (China) went to the top of the 2003 World Figure Skating Championship and achieved two consecutive wins in pairs figure skating.

Shen and Zhao showed off a perfect performance at the free skating competition held in Washington, USA on March 27, including receiving perfect scores (6.0) from 4 judges, and won the championship. The championship money was 82,500 dollars.

The second place winner was Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin, and the third place winner was Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov (Russia).

Meanwhile, the `Queen on Ice` Michelle Kwan (22) started to regain the World Championship.

Kwan easily reached to 1st place over Elena Sokolova of Russia at the women`s single preliminary tournament (Group A). Kwan is still number one in the world having won the World Championship four times (1996, 1998, 2000, and 2001).

Luck is also with her. Her biggest rival, defending champion of the 2002 World Championship, Irina Slutskaya (Russia) is not participating to take care of her mother.

In Group B, the pride of Japan, Fumie Suguri (23) got the first. Suguri, who reached 3rd place following Slutskaya and Kwan, received a standing ovation from the crowd with elegant ballet moves.

The hopeful Sasha Cohen (USA) got to 3rd place in Group A, and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Champion, Sarah Hughes fell down during the performance and stopped at 6th place.

Meanwhile, Cho, Hae-ryum of Korea came in last in Group B (21st place), so failed to go to the Short Program. The Short Program, which has 30% of the total points, will be started on the 29th.

Reported by Ahn, Young-sik (ysahn@donga.com)