Pang Qing and Tong Jian beat fellow compatriots Zhang Dan and Zhang
Hao to win the pairs gold medal at the World Figure Skating
Championships in Calgary, Canada on Wednesday.
It's the third pairs title for China in five years. The last two
were won by veterans Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.
Olympic runners-up Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, best remembered for
her silver medal comeback after her horrific fall at the Turin
Winter Olympics, managed only second place despite a top-ranked
finish after Monday's short program. Russia's Maria Petrova and
Alexei Tikhonov took the bronze.
They might have been last to perform, but Pang and Tong rallied
from second place after Monday's schedule to grab their first world
The two-time national champions, who each have been skating for
two decades and teamed up in 1993, had been practicing for a throw
quadruple Salchow, but they didn't need it on Wednesday. This was
despite Pang's fall on one of their opening moves, a triple toe
"This is our first time standing on the highest podium," Tong
said. "I am in extreme happiness."
The door had been left open for a new champion in Calgary after
Olympic gold medallists and two-time world champions (2005, 2004)
Tatiana Totmainina and Maxim Marinin announced their retirement
after the Turin Games.
Americans Rene Inoue and John Baldwin were placed fourth, while
Canadians Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin rounded out the top
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2006)