German figure skaters Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot have won gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, setting a new free program world record in the process. It’s Germany’s first pairs gold since 1952.
Tears flowed on the ice as Germany’s Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot finished their pairs free skate routine on Thursday. They had just broken their own world record in the free skate after pulling off a flawless performance and scoring a massive 159.31 points.
The routine gave them a total of 235.90, catapulting them from fourth to first place. The German pair collapsed and cried on the ice after the performance.
An anxious wait followed with three more pairs still to skate and the pair broke into tears once again when their gold medal was confirmed. China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong finished in second, agonisingly missing out by less than half a point after Sui took a tumble.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada took the bronze, following their team event gold.
Savchenko, 34, had previously won two bronze medals with former partner Robin Szolkowy but finally claimed a long-awaited gold after five Olympic Games. Rival Duhamel was quick to congratulate Savchenko, with all three teams embracing.
“I believed from the beginning to the end that this story will be a dream come true,” Savchenko said.
“I was positive after yesterday. I said to Bruno, we will write history today. And then everything happened as I had imagined it and it came true.”
The win marks Germany’s first gold medal in the pairs since Ria Baran and Paul Falk in 1952. It was also Germany’s eighth gold after just six days at Pyeongchang, equaling the total number it picked up during the entirety of the Winter Games in Sochi four years ago.
dm/aw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)