German figure skaters Aliona Savhecnko and Robin Szolkowy have won the pairs event at the NHK Trophy competition in Sendai, Japan.
Savchenko and Szolkowy were victorious with slow-moving, exotic music from 'Cirque du Soleil' despite ending with a botched move. It was a throw triple salchow where she never left the ice and never let go of his hand.
Still, they won by a large margin of 24 points over Americans Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker (190.64 to 166.48). Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison of Canada were third (160.21).
Also Friday, European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy surprised local favorite and world champion Miki Ando of Japan by taking the lead in the women's short program. The Italian is only about three-quarters of a point ahead (61.24 to 60.52). Switzerland's Sarah Meier is third (59.16).
European champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France hold onto the lead in the ice dancing after the original dance to folk-country music. The free dance that will determine the medals is on Saturday.
Some information for this report provided by AP.