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Germany's Savchenko, Massot win gold in mixed pairs figure skating

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Xinhua
Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany collapse to the ice after a nearly flawless performance in the Pairs Figure Skating Free Skating Program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Thursday at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, South Korea. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany collapse to the ice after a nearly flawless performance in the Pairs Figure Skating Free Skating Program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Thursday at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, South Korea. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- German figure skaters Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot claimed the mixed pairs event title Thursday at the Pyeongchang Olympics with a personal best 235.90 points.

Savchenko and Massot won the gold medal in front of more than 5,000 spectators in the sold-out Gangneung Ice Arena. They did so with a flawless routine, featuring a combination of airy triple Salchow plus two double toeloop jumps.

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Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won China's second silver medal, with 235.47 points after free skating, 0.43 points away from the top of the podium.

The silver came after Liu Jiayu snatched the silver medal of the women's snowboard halfpipe for China on Tuesday and became the first Chinese snowboard Olympic medalist.

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Savchenko and Massot finish in fourth place in the short program.

Skating to Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, Sui/Han received a long-lasting applause and cheers after an infectious program.

However, Han under-rotated a double toeloop jump in the same combination jumps of the German duo's, and then Sui landed unsteady after a side-by-side triple salchow jump at the beginning of the routine, which cost them the championship in the end.

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Team gold medallists Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada took the bronze medal home with 230.15 points. The only scar of the powerful routine in Adele's Hometown Glory came when Duhamel stumbled on a triple Lutz jump and had her hand touch the ice.

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Another Chinese combination, Yu Xiaoyu/Zhang Hao, who have paired up for less than two years, finished 8th with 204.10 points. The first-time Olympian Yu, 22, succumbed to nerve and landed onto the ice after a triple Salchow jump and a throw triple Salchow.

For the host South Korean spectators, their hearts went for Ryom Tae-ok/Kim Ju-sik from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The confident pair stunned the world in their Olympic debut on Wednesday with a composed routine to finish 11th in the 22-pair short program competition.

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Despite an unsynchronized side-by-side double Axel and Ryom's hand touch-landing after a throw triple loop in the long program, the DPRK pair refreshed their personal best with 193.63 points before a loud, adoring DPRK female cheer squad, to finish the 13th out of 16 pairs.

In the team event competition on Monday, Canada won the gold medal, with the OAR claiming the silver and the United States the bronze

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