Final Results

Place Team Country SP FS
1 Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis FRA 1 1
2 Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov RUS 2 2
3 Tatiana Totmianina & Maksim Marinin RUS 3 3
4 Kristy Sargeant-Wirtz & Kris Wirtz CAN 4 4
5 Aliona Savchenko & Stanislav Morozov UKR 5 5
6 Valerie Marcoux & Bruno Marcotte CAN 6 6
7 Danielle Hartsell & Steve Hartsell USA 7 7
8 Viktoria Shliakhova & Grigori Petrovski RUS 8 8
9 Olga Bestandigova & Josef Bestandig SVK 9 9


Short Program

The Pairs event featured the current World Champions, Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov of Russia, and World Bronze Medallists Sarah Abtibol & Stephane Bernadis (FRA).  Of those two top contenders, the Russians took to the ice first in the last group. Petrova, who suffered from an ankle injury earlier this year, touched down both on their opening side-by-side triple toe loops and on throw triple salchow. Their entertaining Russian Folklore program contained a strong lift and received marks of up to 5.8 for presentation. Overall, however, they placed second in the first portion of the event.  "The mistakes happened just like that. They had nothing to do with my (hurting) leg", said a disappointed Petrova. "Tomorrow we'll give our best."

Abitbol & Bernadis skated right after their Russian competitors. The French National Champions debuted a new program called "Ninja", inspired by martial arts that features original moves.  Abitbol & Bernadis landed side-by-side triple toe loops, a throw triple loop, and a very high double twist. The marks went up to 5.8 for required elements and up to 5.9 for presentation, and the team won the Short Program. "We've skated as we do in practice", commented a happy Sarah Abitbol. "Since we have an original program, we were really curious about the reactions of the judges, and we are glad that they obviously liked it."

Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin from Russia finished third. The young team from St. Petersburg had to skate first and delivered a clean performance to 'Liebestraum" (Dream of Love) by Franz Liszt that featured side-by-side triple toe loops and a throw triple loop as well as a nice spiral sequence. "This is our second competition, and we felt more confident" explained Marinin. "We are pleased that we did well in this group of strong competitors like World Champions and World Medallists. However, my triple toe loop and the throw could have been nicer."

Canada's Kristy Wirtz & Kris Wirtz, who had to withdraw from Skate Canda due to injury, skated clean and placed fourth in the short program.

Free Skating

Pairs World Bronze Medallists Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis won their first gold medal at the Sparkassen Cup. The team had been the leaders in the short program. They presented their new program, called "Tristan and Isolde", for which the music was specially composed for them by Maxim Rodriguez. The dynamic performance featured side-by-side triple toe loops, a high throw double Axel and a difficult one-armed lift.    However, Bernadis put his hand on the ice on a double Axel, and Abitbol stepped out of throw triple loop. Fortunately for them, none of the other pairs delivered programs that were completely clean either, and Abitbol & Bernadis took the lead, earning all first place ordinals.  "We had some mistakes", admitted Bernadis,  "but it is always good to win, especially when the competition is as tough as here. We beat the World Champions after all."  Bernadis didn't want to compare their "Tristan and Isolde" to the one of Canadian's Jamie Sale & David Pelletier that bears the same name but is skated to different music.  "We didn't do that on purpose", he stressed. "Of course the media will compare the programs, but we have a totally different style and different personalities, we are two very different couples and it's just this theme that brings us nearer to each other."   Abitbol & Bernadis scored series 12 points. Their next point-scoring event will be the NHK Trophy in Japan in December.

World Champions Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov of Russia had to accept their second defeat in their second competition.  Petrova doubled her opening side-by-side triple toe loop and singled an Axel shortly afterwards. The rest of their program, which featured innovative lifts and an excellent throw triple salchow, was fine, but it was not enough to beat the French team. Petrova & Tikhonov who had won the gold at the Sparkassen Cup the last two years had to settle for the silver this time.  "We didn't do a great job tonight", said Tikhonov. "We had two mistakes in the jumps.  Maybe it was the jet-lag, we just came from Skate Canada. Due to Maria's injury (sprained ankle) this summer, we weren't able to practice jumps so much."   Petrova & Tikhonov take home 9 points and will meet their French competitors again at NHK Trophy, which is the Russian's second scoring evert.

Russia's up and coming pair Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin repeated their podium finish from Skate America by winning the bronze medal. Their program included side-by-side triple Salchows and side-by-side triple toe loops, but Totmianina missed the throw triple loop, and also touched down on throw triple Salchow.  "We did two quite serious mistakes today", said Marinin.  "To us, this competition is like a test event before the main competitions this season, and it's an opportunity for us to test our strengths", he explained.  "We'll skate again at home, in St. Petersburg, next week, and we hope not to repeat those mistakes."  The Russian team had chosen the Sparkassen Cup as their additional event and will skate for points at Cup of Russia in St. Petersburg.

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