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Domnina and Shabalin win Cup of Russia

Duo grabs gold with top score of season

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.
Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin. (Getty Images)

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By Tatiana Flade, special to icenetwork.com
(11/25/2007) - Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia were the top contenders for the Cup of Russia, and won easily with a lead of almost ten points ahead of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France. The Russians handed in a dramatic performance of their dance "Waltz Masquerade" by Aram Khatchaturian; telling the story of a girl that is forced to marry an older man that she doesn't love. Compared to the Cup of China, the European silver medalists upped the technical difficulty of their performance, and earned a level four on all their elements except for a straight line lift (level three). That performance was worth 101.99 points, and overall the couple racked up 205.24 points.

Both the free dance score and the total score were a new personal best, and the total score is actually the highest any couple has achieved this season. "We were determined to give the very best technically and we are pleased that we were able to pull ourselves together after the Cup of China and were able to show everything technically," Domnina said.

The couple had made an error on their spin at the Cup of China when he accidentally lifted her up.

Pechalat and Bourzat chose a completely different type of program, very avant-garde, set to a 'techno' beat. Their theme is "craziness", and they are "going through various stages of craziness" as they explained at the press conference. The French, too, scored a new personal best, and claimed their second silver medal at the Grand Prix this season. It also meant that they qualified for the first time for the Grand Prix Final.

While it was relatively clear before the competition even started who would get silver and gold, the battle for the bronze was wide open. Russia's World Junior Champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev had good chances to medal after finishing third in the compulsory and original dance. In the end, it was a fall by Bobrova in the twizzle series that dropped them to fourth place. Ukraine's Anna Zadarozhniuk and Sergei Verbillo performed a clean dance of their "Nostradamus" program, and were rewarded with the bronze medal.