(photo credit: AP)
Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky were in sixth place after the first program at the International Skating Union's World Figure Skating Championships in Calgary, Canada.
In Tuesday's compulsory dance, which Israel's top ice dancers performed to the Ravensburger Waltz, earned a 34.77 combined score (17.14 for total element and 17.63 for program component).
"We skated well, and I thought we were happy with the way we skated," Chait told The Jerusalem Post. "The crowd in Canada is very good, as they're well educated in ice skating. Tomorrow's another day, and we're getting ready for it now, and are looking forward to the original dance."
Bulgaria's Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski were in first with a 38.46, while the 38.31 score for Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon of Canada put the local favorites in second. Tanith Belbin, who only recently became a US citizen, and Benjamin Agosto, weren't far behind with a 37.59.
France's Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder and Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas of Lithuania round out the top five.
Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky, competing at their first world championships, managed to stay in the final group, holding down the 24th spot.
The ice dance drama will intensify at the remaining programs, the original dance and the free dance, which are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Roman Serov was in 17th place in the men's event after a 16th-best showing in Tuesday's short program, which he performed to the soundtrack of The Truman Show, and a 19th overall finish in qualifying.
The top 24 in the men's event qualified for Thursday's free skate, after which the medals will be awarded.
"The judging is brutal, as always," said Boris Chait, the chairman of the Israeli Ice Skating Federation and Galit's father. "Starting in the first position didn't help [Chait and Sakhnovsky] and the judges always are holding back when you skate first, but the point differential is not a large one.
"The Zaretskys and Serov can both move up a few places with good skating."
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