Two American ice dancing pairs are within striking distance after the first half of their Olympic competition, but they have some ground to make up for the top spot.
In the rhythm dance portion of the event Saturday in Beijing, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue placed third while countrymates Madison Chock and Evan Bates were close behind in fourth. Medals will be on the line Monday in the free dance.
France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron broke their own world record in the rhythm dance with a score of 90.83 to lead the way. Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov came in second with 88.84 points.
Hubbell and Donohue, who won the rhythm dance section of the team event (in which France did not compete), registered a score of 87.13 on Saturday. They narrowly missed a medal in the 2018 Olympics, finishing fourth overall.
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Chock and Bates, the 2022 U.S. champions who won the free dance section of the Olympic team event, were not quite as sharp on Saturday, earning a score of 84.14. The duo finished eighth overall in the 2014 Olympics and ninth overall in the 2018 Olympics.
A third American pair, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, finished 11th in the rhythm dance with a score of 74.58.