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Bobrova, Soloviev win against depleted field

Three teams, including Hubbell siblings, withdraw

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev won their second Grand Prix medal of the season.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev won their second Grand Prix medal of the season. (Getty Images)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(11/20/2010) - Fast-rising Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, who won silver at Cup of China earlier this fall, captured their first Grand Prix title amidst a depleted ice dance field.

The Russian silver medalists, who placed 15th at the 2010 Olympics and eighth at the 2010 worlds, have emerged -- along with Canadians Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier -- as one of Meryl Davis and Charlie White's biggest rivals this season.

Nora Hoffmann and Maxim Zavozin of Hungary won their first Grand Prix medal, a silver, and another Russian couple, Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalopov, took bronze, also their first Grand Prix medal.

Three couples -- Italy's world bronze medalists Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali, Americans Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell and Canadians Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam -- withdrew from the free dance. The Hubbell siblings, who stood fifth after the short dance, reportedly cited an injury to Keiffer's back.

Bobrova and Soloviev, who performed to "Melody of the White Nights," opened with strong twizzles, done in a series of three. They hit elegant positions in their lifts and set a new season best overall score of 154.33.

The Hungarians, too, showed fine lifts, although their mid-line steps gained just Level 2. They finished with 142.09. Ilinykh and Katsalopov placed second in the free with a refined, classically balletic program set to Don Quixote; overall, they earned 134.79.