The surprise in today’s pairs free skate at Ondrej Nepela Memorial was not that Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won, but that they made mistakes in their normally strong throw jumps. But perhaps that was to be expected, as none of the five pairs skated cleanly in the free skate.
Related: Volosozhar/Trankov win short
Volosozhar and Trankov, coming off a win last week at Nebelhorn Trophy, once again dominated the competition, taking the gold by over 26 points. Starting off with two strong side-by-side triples, the second half of their free skate was uncharacteristically error-filled. Neither of their throws were clean, including a fall on the throw triple loop.
The surprise silver medalists were Italy’s Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek, who pulled up from third with the cleanest free skate of the top pairs. They overtook Russia’s Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze, who had trouble throughout their free skate from bailed lifts to popped jumps to unsteady throws.
WATCH: Volosozhar/Trankov short program
Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who were unsuccessful in their throw triple axel attempt, finished fourth.
PAIRS (final standings)
1. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov RUS – 190.15
2. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek ITA – 163.83
3. Lubov Iliusheckina/Nodari Maisuradze RUS – 161.06
4. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir USA – 147.97
5. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres FRA – 125.93
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