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Vanessa James and Eric Radford book pairs final berth in Beijing

Safely through: Vanessa James and partner Eric Radford have reached the final in the pairs figure skating short program at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China (photograph courtesy of International Olympic Committee)

Vanessa James and partner Eric Radford successfully advanced to the final round of the pairs figure skating short programme at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, yesterday.

The duo sit in twelfth place with a score of 63.03 and progressed to the medal round having been among the top 16 pairs to have qualified at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

James and Radford’s score was well shy of their season best of 71.84 owing to subtle bobbles, including movement on the side-by-side spins, as well as James making her side-by-side triple toe loop a double.

“We've been training really hard, we’ve been training well,” James told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Sports.

“I haven’t missed a toe loop, so it’s a little surprising for me today and a little disappointing because we’ve done the work and it’s there, so it’s more me re-evaluating my mental focus."

James, whose father Kevin is Bermudian, and lived on island until age 10 when she moved to the United States, is competing for Canada in her fourth appearance on the world’s biggest sporting stage, having previously represented France in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Games before switching nationalities last year.

James and Radford, who helped Canada claim a fourth-place finish in the team skate event, have been joined in the final by compatriots Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, who sit in thirteenth place with a score of 62.5.

Meanwhile, leaders Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, of China, shattered their previous world record and season best of 82.83 with a score of 84.41 with their programme to the Mission Impossible soundtrack yesterday.

They produced a commanding display with strong technical elements, including a big triple twist and considerable speed into their throw triple flip, with their only flaw being slightly off on their side-by-side spins.

The Chinese duo top the standings by only two tenths of a point over second-placed Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, of Russia.

The two-times world championship silver medal-winners scored a season best 84.25, which would have eclipsed the world record had Wenjing and Cong not done so earlier.

World champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, also of Russia, sit in third place after scoring a season best 82.76.

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Published February 19, 2022 at 8:01 am (Updated February 19, 2022 at 7:24 pm)

Vanessa James and Eric Radford book pairs final berth in Beijing

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