- POSTED: 18 Feb 2014 05:32
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Meryl Davis and Charlie White have finally claimed a first Olympic ice dancing gold for as they surge to victory with new world record scores.
SOCHI: Meryl Davis and Charlie White finally claimed a first Olympic ice dancing gold for figure skating powers the United States as they surged to victory with new world record scores on Monday.
The Vancouver silver medallists led all the way to seal the title by a comfortable 4.53 points following a routine filled with difficult lifts and rapid footwork ahead of reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov won bronze after the free dance final at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
"We're so excited, we're in shock a little. I'm not sure what we're feeling," said Davis, 27, after claiming a 15th Olympic gold medal for the United States but the first outside of men's or women's singles.
"It kind of all came together for us and we're so pleased to be here. We're in disbelief."
The two-time world champions, 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 touched my heart," said a delighted Zoueva. "I was very happy about my kids because it was very difficult pressure.
"If they coped with the pressure it means I trained them well, right? It looks like I did the job."
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.
"The crowd was really alive out there today for all the teams and we fed off the energy," said White. "We were well prepared by our coach Marina in coming here and doing our job."
'There was a lot of pressure'
"I felt like we had done everything we could from the beginning of this competition, in practice, team event, this event. And 17 years of hard work was justified. To come away with a gold medal is amazing."
The Canadians, who Zoueva led to gold four years ago, scored 114.66 points for their skate to "Petit Adagio, Waltz in Concerto No. 2" for an overall total of 190.99.
"That was another great skate for us," said Moir.
"There was a lot of pressure tonight. We felt it more this afternoon probably than yesterday. We just wanted to go out and have a great skate for us and have our moment and we felt like we did that."
Virtue and Moir became the first Canadians to win three Olympic medals in figure skating -- two silver in Sochi in addition to their Vancouver gold.
Virtue added: "With more experience comes more pressure, more expectation and I think what we had in Vancouver, maybe the benefit was not knowing what the Olympics are really all about and having not experienced it, but I think coming in we knew exactly the magnitude and the scope of it."
Ilinykh, 19, and Katasalapov, 22, had already won gold in the new team event in which the Canadians finished silver medallists and the Americans took bronze.
They scored 110.44 for their emotional performance to "Swan Lake" which earned a standing ovation from their adoring home crowd for 183.48 overall.
Since it made its Olympic debut at the 1976 Innsbruck Games it is just the fourth time that a non-Russian or former Soviet team have won ice dancing.
For Russia it was a sixth consecutive medal in ice dance -- the first time they have medalled in the same event in six straight Winter Games in any sport.
Ice dancing is a different discipline and less athletic than pairs skating.
It resembles ballroom dancing -- the dancers have to stay close together and there is less lifting and more intricate, rhythmic footwork.