Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot took home Olympic pairs figure skating gold for Germany at Gangneung Ice Arena in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday.
The German pair scored a world-record 159.31 in the free skate, which occurred Wednesday evening in the United States. Combined with their fourth-place finish in the short program, that score allowed them to assume the top spot on the podium.
Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China captured silver with a first-place showing in the short program and third-place effort in the free skate, while the Canadian duo of Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford nabbed bronze.
Here's a look at the top of the final pairs standings, with full results available on the Olympics' official website:
- Gold: Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (Germany) - 235.90
- Silver: Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (China) - 235.47
- Bronze: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (Canada) - 230.15
- 4. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) - 224.93
- 5. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (France) - 218.53
The win represented a huge breakthrough for Savchenko, who didn't place in 2002 or 2006 and settled for bronze in 2010 and 2014.
This year, though, was different.
Savchenko had a new partner this time around in Massot, a first-time Olympian. The duo combined for unparalleled excellence as they skated their way to a world record thanks to a flawless free skate that NBC Olympics captured:
Their score was six points clear of Duhamel and Radford's long program, and it gave them just enough of a cushion to hold off Cong and Wenjing.
According to Sports Reference, the gold is Germany's first in the mixed pairs competition since 1952.
The lone American pair to qualify for the pairs final was the husband-wife tandem of Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca Knierim.
Their final run was marred by several mistakes, including Chris' fall on a side-by-side jump, but the two did make history when they became the first American pair to ever land a quad twist at the Olympics, according to U.S. Figure Skating on Twitter.
The Americans finished 14th in the short program and scored a 120.27 in the free skate to land at 15th in the overall standings. However, their trip to Pyeongchang wasn't all for naught, as they helped the U.S. capture a bronze in the team competition.