The defending Olympic ice dancing champions threw down the gauntlet. And Meryl Davis and Charlie White met the challenge.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, the 2010 gold medalists from Vancouver, delivered a tremendous short dance that earned a leading score of 76.33. But on the final skate of the night, Team USA’s Davis and White answered by earning a world-record short dance score of 78.89 to take the lead going into tomorrow’s free dance.
The previous top short dance mark was one set by Davis and White themselves, a 77.66 from the 2013 Grand Prix Final.
Davis/White and Virtue/Moir, who share a coach and also train together, were expected to be the class of the ice dancing field in Sochi and they’ve lived up to the billing so far.
Here’s when you’ll see both compete during the free dance:
But Russian fans will also be watching to see if Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katasalpov can give the host nation a medal. The pair holds a very slim grip on the bronze after today over France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, while another Russian duo, Ekaterina Borbova and Dmitri Soloviev, sits in fifth place.
The other two American dancing duos, Madison Chock and Evan Bates and the Shibutani siblings, Maia and Alex, are hanging on to Top-10 spots going into tomorrow.
FIGURE SKATING – ICE DANCING, SHORT PROGRAM (TOP 10)
1. Davis/White (USA), 78.89
2. Virtue/Moir (CAN), 76.33
3. Ilinykh/Katsalapov (RUS), 73.04
4. Pechalat/Bourzat (FRA), 72.78
5. Bobrova/Soloviev (RUS), 69.97
6. Cappellini/Lanotte (ITA), 67.58
7. Weaver/Poje (CAN), 65.93
8. Chock/Bates (USA), 65.46
9. Shibutani/Shibutani (USA), 64.47
10. Zhiganshina/Gazsi (GER), 60.91