Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Crossing borders on road to Olympic gold

Crossing borders on road to Olympic gold

With a world record 159.31 in the free skate, Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot overpowered the Chinese, who won the silver.

The pair collapsed and cried on the ice after a performance that saw them beat the previous record that they had also set at the Grand Prix Final a year ago by more than two points.

Duhamel, who with Radford won gold with Canada in the team event earlier in the Games, said that competition could have been the "secret weapon" that helped them to the podium in the individual event.

Savchenko represented Ukraine, her country of birth, in her first Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

It was a career-defining move which on Thursday at the Pyeongchang Games was rewarded with Olympic glory, and their adopted homeland's first pairs title since 1932.

"The blood in you doesn't know what nationality you are", Savchenko said after she and Massot pulled off their record-setting performance on Thursday.

Sitting in fourth after the short programme on Wednesday when Massot doubled a triple jump, the duo skated a flawless free skate, beating their own world record mark in the process, and fell to the ice in tears after finishing.

The Germans' long program was not only completely mistake-free, it was gorgeously executed in stunning fashion, the only free skate to move the audience at the Gangneung Ice Arena to their feet.

Xiaoyu Yu (CHN), a gold medallist at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012, finished a creditable eighth with her partner Hao Zhang (CHN). "I told Chris today that the world is so much bigger than us, and I'm disappointed with the way we performed today, but there are so many people hurting at home getting the news that their children have died".

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"I said to Bruno, we will write history today".

It is my moment.

But to hit the Olympic bullseye at the fifth attempt was no straightforward affair after a Massot mistake in Wednesday's short programme left them trailing fourth, seemingly out of contention.

Savchenko said: "I never give up... you never know what will happen". "The practice was good and when we went out we felt like, 'Now it's your time to fight'".

"We were on the ice for the gold medal and we didn't give up", Massot added. Yesterday I said I don't want [Savchenko] to come back with another bronze medal.

"I was positive after yesterday". She said, 'It is not finished.

The European champions, competing under the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation flag, were second after the short programme, but errors in their free dance left a sour taste and they had to settle for fourth.

European Champions Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who were in second place after the short program, dropped to fourth after Tarasova doubled her side by side triple Salchow and missed the throw triple Salchow.

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