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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 21:10 GMT
Russian duo take ice dance lead
Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov
Navka and Kostomarov have a 1.38-point lead
Figure skaters Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov looked back on track for ice dance gold after the original dance.

The Russians took their total score to 99.27, while USA duo Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto were 1.38 points behind heading into Monday's free dance.

But Italians Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio, who led after the compulsory dance, slipped to seventh after a nasty fall.

British sister-brother pair Sinead and John Kerr remained in 11th position.

Ukrainian husband-and-wife team Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov were third with 96.68 points.

A night of cha cha, rhumba and samba saw three of the final five couples taking spills, including local favorites Fusar Poli and Margaglio who plunged near the end of their programme.

Marie-France Dubreuil of Canada also had a painful fall, tumbling hard on her right hip and knee.

As a result, Dubreuil and partner Patrice Lauzon slipped from fourth to sixth.

Italy's other dancers, Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali, went down in the final grouping, too. tumbling from 10th to 15th.

Surprised by all the falls, Kostomarov said: "Of course, sometimes you fall in practice but in competition, the Olympic Games, especially when you are fighting for the top three places, it's much more pressure."

Navka and Kostomarov are hoping to follow in the footsteps of their compatriots in Monday's free skate, the final stage of three.

Fellow Russian Evgeni Plushenko has already won the men's title, while Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin have clinched the pairs crown.


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