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Return to Glory: Russians go 1-2 in pairs figure skating

<p>There's been no place like home for the Russian figure skating team so far at the Sochi Games. That trend continued on Wednesday at Iceberg Skating Palace, as the Russians took home both the gold and silver medals in pairs figure skating.</p>

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - There's been no place like home for the Russian figure skating team so far at the Sochi Games. That trend continued on Wednesday at Iceberg Skating Palace, as the Russians took home both the gold and silver medals in pairs figure skating.

Russian and Soviet skaters had won this Olympic event 12 times in a row before being shut out of medal competition four years ago in Vancouver. That wasn't the case this time around, though, as Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov followed up their first-place finish in the short program to produce the highest score in Wednesday's free skate and capture the gold. Countrymates Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov were right behind them to win the silver.

The Russians also won the team figure skating competition on Sunday.

Skating to "Jesus Christ Superstar," the Russian duo of Volosozhar and Trankov whipped the home crowd into a frenzy when they ended the free skate portion of their routine with a spectacular one-arm and one-leg lift and posted a remarkable score of 152.69 for a total of 236.86.

Stolbova and Klimov were right behind them with the second-best score of the free skate at 143.47, but still finished 18.18 points behind their compatriots.

The German team of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy earned the bronze for the second straight Olympics with an overall score of 215.78

Four years after the U.S. had its worst showing ever in pairs, with a 10th- and 13th-place finish, the Americans finished far better this time, as Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir produced a season-best score of 120.38 in the free skate and finished in sixth place overall.

The other U.S. team of Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay were 12th.

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