Favorites Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China have won the pairs figure skating gold medal at the Cup of China in Beijing.

The two-time world champions skated a program highlighted by strong jumps and throws. Their total score was nearly 20 points ahead of compatriots and runners-up Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao. Canadians Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin were third. Americans Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn came in fifth.

In ice dancing, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto of the United States kept their lead after the original dance segment. Jeffrey Buttle of Canada took a commanding lead in the men's short program, skating a clean routine that included a triple flip, triple toe combination.

China's Li Chengjiang is second and German Stefan Lindeman is in third place. The long program will be skated Saturday.