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Davis, White widen lead with OD win

Race tightens for bronze medal

Meryl Davis and Charlie White impressed the crowd with their <i>Phantom of the Opera</i> free dance.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White impressed the crowd with their Phantom of the Opera free dance. (Paul Harvath)

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By J. Barry Mittan, special to icenetwork.com
(09/24/2009) - The ice dancers competed for a second time at the 2009 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany today with Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White winning the country/folk original dance with 62.08 points. They increased their overall score to 99.70 points to lead by 14.70 points.

"Our original dance is an Indian folk dance," Davis said. "We wanted to do something really different and unique. We wanted to play with the crowd a little bit and show a connection with them."

"The dance has good energy and shows some movements that are different from the rest of the skating world," White added.

"There is a stark contrast between Indian folk dancing and the Arabian and Middle Eastern dances that you usually see," Davis continued. "It's a very unique style of dancing."

Israelis Alexandra and Roman Zaretski, skating to "Hava Nagila," placed second with 52.71 points in the original dance. With 85.05 total points, they remained second overall.

"It wasn't bad for the first one," Roman Zaretski said. "We enjoyed it. Our federation told us we needed to use Jewish music this year for the Olympics, and 'Hava Nagila' is the best."

A battle looms for the bronze medal with just .23 between two teams that have swapped places in each dance.

A Lithuanian polka by Katherine Copely and Deividas Stagniunas earned them 48.09 points, placing them third in the original dance, but they dropped to fourth overall with a 79.32 total.

"It was pretty good, but we could have had more energy," Copely said. "It was a long day. We need to show more expression, but it's early in the season."

Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko of Russia scored 47.91 points to place fourth with their Russian folk dance. They have 79.55 total points and stand in third place overall.

The next four teams are separated by only .66.

Lucie Mysliveckova and Matej Novak of the Czech Republic jumped from eighth after the compulsory dance to fifth overall with 74.49 points by scoring 45.64 points in the original dance, the fifth best score, with a lively Finnish polka.

"It's very popular music in the Czech Republic," Mysliveckova said. "People have it on their cell phones. We wanted to use it even though it was a Finnish polka."

"We wanted to finish high enough to be in the last warm-up group," she continued, "but then they said there would be only four couples in the last group. We were a little bit unsynchronized on our twizzles, and once, we were behind our music a little, but we are happy with our place."

Great Britain's Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty moved up to sixth place in the original dance with 45.06 points for their Scottish highland folk dance. They are sixth overall with 74.08 points.

Hungary's Nora Hoffman and Maxim Zavozin earned 42.84 points for their folk dance to "Csardas" to place tenth in the original dance after having trouble coming down from a lift. Their total for the first two dances was 74.04 points, placing them seventh overall.

Xintong Huang and Xun Zheng of China are also in the fight for fifth place after a score of 43.67 in the original dance left them with 73.83 points overall.