Chait and Sakhnovsky heat up for Winter Olympics

Israel's top ice dancing team capture the silver medal at the Cup of Russia, scoring 184.65.

figure skating 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
figure skating 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky have their sights set on the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. On Sunday, Israel's top ice dancing team captured the silver medal at the Cup of Russia, their second International Skating Union Grand Prix event of the season. Their combined score of 184.65 was second only to reigning world champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia (200.91) and ahead of another Russian couple, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (176.69). "We are delighted that they won the silver medal in such a commanding way, and that they've qualified for the Grand Prix Final yet again," said Judith Javor, the general secretary of the Israel Ice Skating Federation. "Their season this year has started out very well for them so far, and hopefully it will continue in this direction." Chait and Sakhnovsky were in second place after Thursday's compulsory dance, in which they performed a Yankee Polka, and held on to the spot after Friday's original dance, a combination Cha Cha, Rhumba and Samba. They performed a version of Ravel's Bolero in the third and final program, the free dance, on Sunday. The top two teams in St. Petersburg also placed first and second at the Cup of China in Beijing three weeks ago. Chait and Sakhnovsky qualified for the December 16-18 Grand Prix Final in Tokyo, where they will have another battle royale against the world champs, who are also their training partners. In last year's GP Final, the Israelis finished fourth, less than a point behind the then-world No. 2 pair, Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski of Bulgaria, after having missed making the 2002 and 2003 Finals. The last GP event of the season prior to the Final will be December 1-4 in Osaka, Japan, where Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky will take to the ice in the dance event, while Roman Serov will compete in the mens'.