Russians Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov squared off against German rivals Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy in the figure skating pairs short program at the Sochi Olympics Monday evening in the Iceberg Skating Palace.
Savchenko/Szolkowy skated in the fourth group to a selection from “Pink Panther,” coordinating their outfits to match the music. Their score of put pressure on the Russians, who were skating the fifth group. Volosozhar/Trankov answered promptly, delivering a lights-out program that earned a world-record score and standing ovation from the audience.
U.S. skaters Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who skated both the short and free programs for the inaugural team event, scored a personal best 67.44. After two groups finished they were in second place, but soon were knocked out by Volosozhar/Trankov and Savchenko/Szolkowy.
Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, who made their Olympic debut for Team USA at the pairs short program, scored highly enough to land them in third, but were also bumped as the evening progressed.
Notable names rounding out the qualifications to the free skate program are teams from China, Germany, Russia, Canada, and France.