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Russian Couple Wins Goodwill Dance

August 2, 1998

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Skating with emotion and enthusiasm, Russia’s world champion ice dance team of Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov won the Goodwill Games gold medal Saturday night.

Attracted by cut-rate $5 upper level seats, the largest Nassau Coliseum crowd of the games cheered Krylova and Ovsiannikov through their energetic free dance, which earned two perfect scores.

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were among the fans, sitting next to Goodwill Games creator Ted Turner and his wife, Jane Fonda.

The silver medal went to another Russian couple, Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh, with Elena Grushina and Rusian Goncharov of Ukraine taking the bronze.

Later Saturday night, Olympic silver medalist Michelle Kwan went for the Goodwill gold in the women’s final.

It was the second straight major international title for the Russians, who live and train in Newark, Del. They won the world championship in March after six straight second-place finishes in European, world and Olympic competitions dating back to 1996.

Skating to Bizet’s ``Carmen,″ Krylova and Ovsiannikov were the last pair of the night and dazzled the near-capacity crowd.

The couple, who have been skating together since May 1994 and are coached by 1980 Olympic champions Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov, received two perfect 6.0 scores for presentation from the Austrian and Russian judges.

Teen-agers Jessica Joseph and Charles Butler represented the United States and were crowd favorites, even though they received no mark higher than 5.5 and finished fourth and last.

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