Chinese pair deliver gutsy performance
Updated: 2006-02-14 08:34
TURIN, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao claimed China's first-ever
Olympic figure skating silver medal along with a gold for courage on Monday
following a display of bravery seldom seen on an ice rink.
The last couple to step onto the
Palavela ice and the last skaters with a chance at ending Russia's 42-year
domination of the pairs event, Zhang and Zhang got their routine off to flying
start only to have it come all undone with a spectacular spill that drew gasps
from the sellout crowd.
Zhang Hao (R) looks
at Zhang Dan from China after she fell during the figure skating Pairs
Free Skating at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy,
February 13, 2006. Zhang Hao and Zhang Dan won the Silver Medal.
Attempting the rarely seen quadruple Salchow, Zhang Dan landed in the splits
and had to stop after sliding into the boards.
Struggling to her skates, Zhang Dan was helped off the ice by her partner and
after consulting with coaches and officials the 20-year-old gingerly returned to
the ice five minutes later.
The pair continued their skate to the thundering approval of the crowd.
"We are challenging the extreme limits of what a human being can do," said
Dan Zhang. "I had to turn four revolutions in the air and a huge distance and
then I hit the boards.
"You can only imagine how painful that would be.
"We were still empty in our minds. When the music started again we didn't
know where to start our elements but we gave a gesture and then we carried on.
"Gradually after we restarted we became more-and-more clear in our minds how
to do these elements.
"We wanted to go on."