Since Sui Wenjing was 12 and Han Cong was 14, they have been teammates, and their decade-long partnership is a big reason why the Chinese team is so excellent.
Being a pairs skating duo does not automatically make them a relationship, as Sui pointed out when asked about the length of time it took for their chemistry to develop.
After winning the short programme at the World Championships on Friday at TD Garden, the press conference that followed was punctuated by a little comedic interlude brought on by her response to a question about their connection on the ice.
They don’t have any spark, she said. He laughed and said, “That’s a joke, and the relationship feels like cousins.”
He’s constantly babbling, she sighed, and it’s becoming old. I can’t help but think of him as a younger version of my dad.
Maxim Trankov, a quick-witted Russian, couldn’t resist igniting a little more fun when the significance of the question was conveyed.
Trankov, who has been skating with Tatiana Volosozhar for five seasons and has been married to her for seven months, joked, “Skating chemistry…then marriage.”
Fire was started on the ice by Sui and Han, who combined flashy moves (have you ever seen a landing more solid than hers on a rafter-rattling throw?) with risky stunts.
adds an arresting melody, passion, and strength to music dubbed, whether aptly or sarcastically, “Spanish Romance.” Han proclaimed their short performance to be flawless, and they received a personal best score of 80.85.
Trankov said, “They have Excellent Technique, and they Skate Really Beautiful Choreography.”
As a result of her two-footed landing on their throw, he and Volosozhar, the reigning Olympic champions, placed third (77.13). After their Olympic victory in 2014, the Russian ice skating team had 18 months off to rest and prepare for the next season, during which time they won the world championship in 2013.
Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada, the defending world champions, have battled this year but are currently in second place (78.18).
Radford claimed, “We finally rediscovered the focus we had last season.”
Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, the best American pair, left the competition disappointed because they had achieved a personal best score (71.37), despite his fall on the side-by-side jump. Because of that blunder, they are ranked seventh instead of fourth or third.
It has been in the 60s all season, so we’ve been aiming for that number,” Knierim added. It’s great that we won, but it’s a shame that the margin of victory wasn’t wider.
With problems in all of their aerial parts and his fall during a footwork sequence, the defending U.S. champions, Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, stumbled to 14th place (59.27).
The refreshing honesty with which Kayne expressed her disappointment was remarkable. In contrast to Sui and Han, who have been a team for four years, the two American teams have been together for only two years.
As a result of her growth plate problems, China missed out on the 2014 Olympics after winning three consecutive world junior titles (in 2008, 2009, and 2010). According to Han, it took three years of training with world and Olympic champion Zhao Hongbo before they finally started to gel.
“We thought at the moment that our skating and performance level had some flaws,” Han stated. We made up our minds to do as he said. He gave us a wealth of information about working together effectively. That is to say, how to achieve chemistry.