The final figure skating competition of the Beijing Olympics is underway, as 18 pairs take to the ice for the short program, a two-minute skate.
Unlike the ice dancing competition that took place earlier in the Games, pairs figure skating prioritizes more acrobatic skills: jumps, overhead lifts and throws.
Friday’s competition includes performances by the rival pairs Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia, the reigning world champions, and Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, who won world titles in 2017 and 2019.
Sui and Han are especially eager for redemption. They had the gold within their grasp at the 2018 Olympics, but lost by a mere 0.43 points to the German team.
The pairs will skate the long program, also called the free skate, on Saturday. Medal winners will be determined by adding the scores from the two events.