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  • Friday, March 26, 1999

    Russians retain world title

     HELSINKI (CP) -- Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov retained their ice dance title in another questionable judging decision in the eyes of world figure skating championship fans Friday.
     Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France received the only standing ovation of the evening with their Man In the Iron Mask free dance.
     The Russians followed with a four-minute routine to the beat of African drums, which was less enthusiastically received by the 7,000 onlookers but worthy of gold in the eyes of the judges.
     Canadian champions Shae-Lynn Bourne of Chatham, Ont., and Victor Kraatz of Vancouver won the bronze medals for the fourth consecutive year.
     The crowd clapped along to the beat of their techno-pop dance that required the most demanding footwork in the lineup.
     Chantal Lefebvre of LaSalle, Que., and Michel Brunet of Gatineau, Que., finished 15th.
     Skaters from Russia or the former Soviet Union now have won the ice dance title each year since 1991, when the Canadian-raised, sister-brother team of Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay prevailed for France.
     In the pairs final Wednesday, most in the arena thought Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao of China were best. There was a standing ovation. The judges, however, gave gold to Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia, and Berezhnaya fell during her performance.
     


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