VANCOUVER, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- World champions Okasana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin didnot seem to be affected by the dispute around their original dance costumes as they led the ice dancing table after Friday's compulsory dance at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
Dancing to the "Tango Romantica" at the Pacific Coliseum, Domnina and Shabalin, who have teamed up with each other for eight years, scored a season best of 43.76 points with their crisp steps, beating home favorite Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to the second place.
The Russian pair, who withdrew from the 2009 European championships due to Shabalin's knee injury, claimed their second Euro title last month with an aboriginal theme in original dance, which was considered "very offensive" to an Australian elder Sol Bellear and put them in storm recently.
"We are very satisfied with our skating today. We were working very hard in the past three weeks and we feel more confident after the European Championships," said Shabalin at a post-match press conference. "We are looking optimistically into the next few days."
He played down the extra pressure on their shoulder after Evgeni Plushenko failed to win a gold medal in figure skating for the Russian delegation.
"We're just trying to focus on our skating and not on anything else. We're always trying to show our best skating," said Shabalin.
The Canadian duo Virtue and Moir earned a close enough score of 42.74 points after skating last in the night's competitions of 23 pairs. They added 2-plus points to the previous season best set by themselves and entertained the more than 11,500 attendance.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States were the third on 41.47 points after the first segment of the ice dance, while their compatriots Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, the silver medalists in both the Turin Winter Games and the 2009 world championships were the fourth with 40.83.
China's sole qualified pair Huang Xintong and Zheng Xun finished a distant 19th after dancing to 29.22 points, and the only other Asian pair Cathy and Chris Reed, representing Japan, were just one position up with 29.49. The Reeds, whose father is an American, played for the United States before joining their mom's nationality.
The original dance and free dance will be put on show on Sunday and Monday when the medal holders are to be decided.