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Pechalat, Bourzat roll to dance gold at Cup of China

World bronze medalists increase lead from short; Bobrova, Soloviev climb into second

European champions Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat kicked off their season with gold.
European champions Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat kicked off their season with gold. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(11/03/2012) - Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat of France danced to the gold medal at Cup of China. Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev claimed the silver, and the bronze went to Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada.

Péchalat and Bourzat delivered a strong performance to a Rolling Stones medley and picked up a Level 4 in six out of eight elements. The European champions scored 100.58 points in the segment and totaled 169.73 points for the competition.

"China is a lucky place for us. We won the Cup of China three years ago, and now again," Bourzat said. "It is a great start to the season for us, and we are pretty pleased with what we did. We still can improve on this; for example, be more relaxed when we go out on the ice."

Dancing to "Man with a Harmonica" and Tosca, Bobrova and Soloviev earned a Level 4 for the lifts, twizzles and spin, while the footwork was a Level 2. The Russian champions received 95.14 points and pulled up from third to second with 159.46 points.

"Since Skate America, we changed only a few things as there was not much time, but we are pleased with the work that we have done," Soloviev said.

"We were a little tense tonight. I think that, emotionally and technically, we skated better at Skate America."

Weaver and Poje's program to "Humanity in Motion" featured Level 4 lifts and twizzles, but the spin and the diagonal step sequence were rated as Level 2. The Canadians scored 93.38 points for the free dance and slipped from second to third with 158.97 points overall.

"Andrew and I are very proud of the performance that we gave today," Weaver said. "It was much improved from Skate America, obviously. Given the short time, we didn't have a lot of time to change things, but we fixed a few levels.

"We still didn't get a [higher] level for the spin, which is frustrating," she added.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. remained in fourth place with 149.54 points, and Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri placed fifth with 137.58 points.