Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver
Date Started: February 14, 2010
Date Finished: February 15, 2010
Format: Total of points from short program and free skating.
This was predicted to be a close contest, and so it proved. After the short program, the bronze medallists from 2006, China’s Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo held a slender lead of 0.7 points over the reigning World Champions Aljona Sawtchenko and Robin Szolkowy (GER), with reigning European Champions Yuko Kavaguti and [Aleksandr Smirnov] (RUS) a further 1.8 points behind. In the free skate, the Russians’ performance contained a number of errors that relegated them to fourth place. The German pair also skated a program with errors and eventually finished with the bronze medal. The outstanding free skate performance was done by China’s Pang Qing and Tong Jian, former world champions who moved up from fourth place to take the silver medal. The leaders after the short program, Shen and Zhao, skated well enough to take the gold medal, posting the second highest score of the free programme. This was the first time since 1960 that a Russian or Soviet pair had not won the gold medal in this event, and was the first ever gold medal in figure skating for China. Two medalists, Sawchenko and Kavaguti, did not compete for their native countries, as Sawchenko was Ukrainian and Kavaguti (Kawaguchi) was Japanese.