Savchenko, Massot win emotional gold

Savchenko, Massot win emotional gold

GANGNEUNG – Agence France-Presse
Savchenko, Massot win emotional gold

Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot conjured up a magical world-record free dance to win Olympic pairs figure skating gold yesterday -- and promptly burst into floods of tears.

The German duo’s sensational four-and-a-half-minute routine just denied China’s world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, the hot favorites who were pipped to the title by less than half a point after Sui took a tumble.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada took bronze.

The 34-year-old Savchenko’s dream of an elusive first gold at her fifth Winter Games had looked dashed after an unfortunate error by her French-born partner Massot -- who only received German citizenship in November -- in Feb. 14’s short program.

His double instead of a triple salchow left him distraught and them trailing their Chinese rivals in fourth.

But 24 hours later Massot righted that wrong, matching his decorated ice companion step for step, their dance to “La Terre vue du ciel” by Armand Amar holding the crowd at the Gangneung Arena in thrall.

At the end of their performance they lay in each other’s arms on the ice, before Massot bowed to his partner and they made their way to the “kiss and cry” corner, where the tears flowed when their score of 159.09 points flashed up, beating the world record they set of 157.25 at the Grand Prix Final in December.

That gave them a winning combined total of 235.90.

They had to then sit and watch as first Duhamel and Radford, team event gold medalists, then Sui and Han try but fail to deny them their moment of glory.

Sui and Han finished agonizingly adrift on 235.47 with the Canadians on 230.15.

Sui, who revealed she was feeling pain from an injury, looked visibly disappointed.