Stylish Pechalat, Bourzat seize lead in Shanghai

European champions carry 3.56-point lead into free; Weaver, Poje take second

France's Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat tallied 69.15 points in the short.
France's Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat tallied 69.15 points in the short. (Getty Images)


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By International Skating Union
(11/02/2012) - Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat of France danced to the lead, followed by Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev at Cup of China.

Péchalat and Bourzat turned in a strong waltz and Yankee Polka set to a French waltz and can-can. The European champions earned a Level 4 for the twizzles, the lift and the first Polka sequence to score 69.15 points.

"The first competition is always not as good as in practice, but I think we've improved a lot in presenting ourselves in competition," Bourzat said. "We were in good shape for this first short dance of the seaon. I hope that the audience enjoyed the theme we showed. Technically, there is still room for improvement."

Weaver and Poje picked up a Level 4 for the same elements in their waltz and Polka to The Sound of Music. The Canadians earned 65.59 points.

"There was not a lot of downtime between the two Grand Prixs, so we didn't have a lot of chances to change many things," Poje said. "We tried to focus on the points where we lost a lot. We focused on the Polka and on the footwork to try to bring those up for the competition and we are happy with how the short dance went today."

Bobrova and Soloviev's dance to music from Russian movies featured Level 4 twizzles and a Level 4 straight-line lift. The European silver medalists collected 64.32 points.

"We felt like that we skated cleaner and with more emotions at Skate America, but the judges obviously saw it differently," Soloviev said. "Technically, we got less points [here]. We decided to work especially on the Polka as we didn't get so high levels at Skate America, but we didn't have enough time to change or to add something."

Madison Chock and Evan Bates are currently ranked fourth at 59.26 points, and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy placed fifth with 55.57 points.