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The gold of a Chinese duo completes a tumultuous two weeks for figure skating.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China won gold in the pair figure skating event on Saturday at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capping two weeks tainted with scandal, marred by mistakes and tears for an iconic Olympic sport with a nearly flawless performance.

Sui and Han, who finished first in the short program on Friday, held off three Russian pairs in the free program on Saturday. They had come to the Games eager to redeem themselves: they had victory within their grasp at the 2018 Olympics, only to lose the gold medal by just 0.43 points.

They faced stiff competition on Saturday from three Russian duos. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov finished second after the short program, trailing Sui and Han by a fraction of a point but ranking just ahead of reigning world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov. Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii entered the free skate in fourth place.

Playing one after the other to close the program of the evening, the three Russian duos took turns posting the best score. Each time a pair took the lead, however, the next pair took the ice and edged them with a better score. Tarasova and Morozov were the last to take the shot, their free skating score just five hundredths of a point better than Mishina and Galliamov.

Sui and Han, however, quickly came out and beat them all, setting a world record with a total of 239.88 points to edge out Tarasova and Morozov by a very slim margin, 63 hundredths of a point. Playing to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Sui and Han glided effortlessly from one end of the rink to the other, executing a series of throws, jumps and carries that delighted the small crowd of Chinese fans allowed to enter the arena.

When their scores were posted, Sui and Han both burst into tears as they were engulfed by a team of coaches and staff waving a large Chinese flag.

China’s gold medal was its ninth of the Games, nearly doubling the record of five from the country’s previous Winter Games.

sports Gt

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