Coach Yao weeps for joy after Shen/Zhao crowned Olympic pairs figure skating

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Yao Bin, who coached Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo to China's first gold medal at the Vancouver Winter Games here on Monday, wept to joy after the historical victory.

"Every one coming here of the Chinese delegation were all happy to tears after witness the moment when Shen and Zhao topped the Olympic podium and the national flag rose," said Yao.

The 52-year-old coach, who's the first pairs figure skater representing China in the Winter Games 26 years ago, hung over the rail for a while in the mixed zone, checking his cell phone before getting interviewed by the also over excited Chinese media.

"My phone has been jamed by messages from homeland to congratulate on Shen and Zhao's winning title," he said. "Pang (Qing) and Tong (Jian) skated some perfect routines while Shen and Zhao made a few errors, but the results are perfect."

Shen/Zhao, the two-time Olympic bronze medalists who came back from retirement nine months ago, scored a world record 216.57 points to beat compatriots Pang and Tong for the pairs figure skating gold medal of the Vancouver Winter Games.

The third Chinese pair Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao completed China's strong run in the pairs figure skating, keeping the fifth position as they did after Sunday's short program as one of Zhang Hao's most adept moves, a triple toeloop, turned to his nightmare right in the beginning of their performance.

It has been China's first ever Olympic title in figure skating since the most populous sports powerhouse made its first participation to the Winter Games 30 years ago.

Also Shen and Zhao are the first ever non-European couple to top the Olympic pairs podium in history, snapping a 12-Games winning streak of Russia who had dominated the Olympic figure skating pairs events for 46 years.

"The couple (Shen and Zhao) had suffered so much and waited for so long. They deserve to be Olympic champions," said Yao.

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