Thursday, March 20, 2008

Standings after the Original Dance

Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France won the original dance at the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday, widening their lead to a comfortable four points.

Delobel and Schoenfelder have 107.98 points going into Friday's free dance.

Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski of Russia are now second, passing Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada in the original dance. But the margin between the couples is slim, with the Russians just .45 points ahead: 103.97 to 103.52.

Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto entered the worlds favored to become the first U.S. couple to win a world dance title. But a rare fall in compulsories dropped them to fifth place and, despite finishing fourth in the original dance, they weren't able to make up any ground in the standings.

"This is the first time we've gone in hearing that perhaps we were one of the favorites for a title. That's a lot of pressure to carry," Belbin said. "I think I just had to put that out of my mind and realize that we can still gain a lot from this event -- good or bad."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


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