Davis, White dance to gold, Jamaica fizzles
By Dave James ,AFP
February 19, 2014, 12:13 am TWN
SOCHI, Russia -- Meryl Davis and Charlie White claimed America's first Olympic figure skating ice dance gold with a world record performance Monday but Jamaica's heart-warming run to Russia suffered a predictably sobering end.
Vancouver silver medalists Davis and White led all the way to seal the title by 4.53 points ahead of reigning champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov won bronze.
"We're so excited, we're in shock a little. I'm not sure what we're feeling," said Davis, after claiming a 15th Olympic gold medal for the United States but the first outside of men's or women's individual events.
"It kind of all came together for us and we're so pleased to be here. We're in disbelief."
The Americans, who train with the Canadian dancers in Detroit under Russian-born coach Marina Zoueva, completed their medal set after their silver in Vancouver and team bronze in Sochi.
They scored 116.63 points for their free skate to "Scheherazade" — over two points higher than the previous record they achieved in the team event just over a week ago.
After already setting a new record in the short dance on Sunday they scored an overall total record of 195.52, beating their previous best from the Grand Prix final by over four points.
Jamaica's Olympic bobsleigh adventure, funded by an Internet appeal and backed by an international outpouring of goodwill, ended with a whimper when 46-year-old pilot Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon came in second-last in the two-man event.
Jamaica were hoping to represent their country with the same vigor and enthusiasm shown by their 1988 Calgary counterparts, who inspired the movie, "Cool Runnings."
But Watts and Dixon were unable to produce the miracle they needed in the third run to make up their time deficit from the first two heats — finishing 29th out of 30 runners.
"I promised to slide today faster than yesterday," Watts said after the third run. "And we did so. Unfortunately it was not enough to go further.
"Hopefully, we sent a message to the smaller countries, you don't need snow to do bobsleigh. You don't need snow to do winter sports."
The two-man bob was won by Alexander Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda who earned Russia their first gold medal in the sport.
Bjoerndalen Kicking His Heels
Zubkov produced two more consistent races to clock a combined time of 3 minutes 45.39 seconds to finish 0.66 seconds ahead of