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
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)