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Zhao Lands on Ice with Good Triple Toeloop
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Chinese Zhao Hongbo began his Turin journey with a good triple toeloop on ice as he and partner Shen Xue stayed in the fifth place in the short program of the pair's figure skating at the Turin Winter Olympics on Saturday. 

Skating to a piano concerto program, Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo started with a triple toeloop, but Shen struggled when landing while Zhao made it. They continued a good throw triple loop and double twist as well as pair combination spin and forward inside death spiral.

Zhao and Shen, bronze medalists in the Salt Lake City Games four years ago, used to be the biggest gold medal hopefuls for China before Zhao severely injured his Achilles tendon last August and missed the whole season so far.

They pocketed 62.32 points (30.86 performed technical score/31.46 program component score), which guided them to the fifth place in the short program.

"Zhao had a good skate tonight, but I made a mistake on a triple toeloop, which I rarely had such a fault before. I was a little surprised toward it," said the 28-year-old Shen.

"I think she was worrying about me when doing the triple toeloop," Zhao said.

Zhao broke his tendon while doing a triple toeloop during altitude training in south China's Yunnan province, denting their Olympic appearance in doubt.

"I felt confident after the short program because of the successful triple toeloop. Though I really care about my foot when skating, I am quite happy now," Zhao added.

"There was just a little problem in spins and jumps. We are sure to make all out in free skating," said Zhao.

(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2006)

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