Wenjing, Cong win pairs short program at Four Continents

Associated Press

2/11/2012 8:33:07 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the pairs short program Saturday at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Sui and Han, the two-time and reigning world junior champions, had a score of 66.75 points, more than three points clear of 2012 U.S. Champions Caydee Denney and John Coughlin at 63.35.

"Today, we did our best in the short program," Cong said through an interpreter. "It's very amazing and wonderful. We feel so happy, and my partner did very well. Congratulations to the other teams."

The Colorado Springs-based Denney and Coughlin have only been partners since May.

"It felt like I hoped it would skating at home, and I felt the support from our friends and family," Coughlin said. "It was nice to put out a good performance for them and for ourselves. Our components improved greatly from our last Grand Prix score, so I'm excited about that."

They felt good about their ability to take their program to an even higher level than nationals.

"Going into this, we felt we could improve on this program and we could improve on this from nationals, and I felt like we did that," Denney said.

Americans Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker were third with 62.42 points.

"We're just really happy with our skate today," Brubaker said. "We were pretty strong on things, and this was definitely a step in the right direction. Between nationals and here, it's definitely how you want to be skating here."