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Bobrova, Soloviev start strong in Russia

Italians second, Hubbell siblings fifth

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(11/19/2010) - Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev are surprisingly strong leaders after the short dance, outscoring reigning world bronze medalists Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy by a substantial 3.15 points.

Nora Hoffman and Maxim Zavozin of Hungary are third. Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell of the U.S. are fifth entering the free dance.

The Russian silver medalists, who won the world junior title in 2007 and were eighth at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships, gained 60.80 for their waltz to Tom Jones' "Delilah." They look on track for a second Grand Prix medal, having won silver at Cup of China earlier this fall.

Skating to music from My Fair Lady, Faiella and Scali, who ranked third at Cup of China earlier this fall, had no deductions, but scored a 4.29 points lower in technical elements than the Russians.

Hoffmann and Zavozin performed an elegant program to Sleeping Beauty and The Skaters' Waltz, setting a new season high of 57.24. Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov, sixth in Russia last season, ranked fourth, well behind the top three.

The Hubbell siblings, who train at the Detroit Skating Club under Anjelika Krylova and Pasquale Camerlengo, seemed pleased with their score of 50.59 for their performance to music from The Addams Family. They bested their previous short dance score at Cup of China by more than six points.