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Russians Win Figure Skating Gold in Turin Olympic Pairs Event

Russians Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin performed perhaps the best free program of their career at the Winter Olympics in Italy to claim the pairs figure skating gold medal. The win Monday in Turin is the 12th consecutive Olympic pairs title for a Russian or Soviet team.

The two-time world champions easily took gold ahead of Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao of China. The Chinese pair of Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo earned a second straight bronze medal, also placing third at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

More Russian gold came in women's 15-kilometer individual biathlon. Svetlana Ishmouratova finished the event in 49 minutes, 24.1 seconds. Biathlon combines cross country skiing and target shooting. Her time included a one-minute penalty for one missed target in 20 shots. Russian teammate Olga Pyleva placed second followed by German Martina Glagow.

Joey Cheek won the fourth U.S. gold medal at the Turin Games. Cheek captured the men's 500-meter speedskating event a combined two-run time of one minute, nine-point-seven-six seconds. Russian Dmitry Dorofeyev took the silver medal (1:10.41). South Korean Lee Kang-Seok placed third (1:10.43).

Earlier, American Hannah Teter made a golden run in women's half-pipe snowboarding. The 19-year-old topped American teammate Gretchen Bleiler. The bronze medal went to Kjersti Buass of Norway.

The American wins placed the United States tops on the Olympics medals table after four days of competition.

After 16 of 87 events Monday, the United States has four gold medals, and two silver. Russia follows with three golds, three silver and one bronze. Germany is next with two golds and one bronze.

Norway, the Netherlands, South Korea, host Italy, Canada, France and Estonia each have one gold medal so far.

Norway has the most total medals with eight. In addition to their one gold, the Norwegians have picked up three silver and four bronze.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.