Figure Skating

CBC Sports - Friday Feb. 7, 2014 23:45 ET

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir ready to take over team figure skating event

Canada sits 2nd, only 2 points behind leader Russia

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir practice at the Iceberg Skating Palace on February 5, 2014 in Sochi. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are set to make their Sochi 2014 debut Saturday in the figure skating team competition (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 9:30 a.m. ET).

Virtue and Moir will try to power Canada up the standings on day two of the debuting event as they compete in the short program.

Canada sits second with 17 points, only two points behind leader Russia after Patrick Chan finished third in the men’s short program and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford earned a second place in the pairs short on Thursday.

Virtue and Moir will be going up against reigning world ice dance champs Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who will try to move the American team up from fifth place in the team standings.

After Saturday's short skate, the friendly rivalry between the Canadian and American ice dancers continues Sunday with the team event free program. Next week, Virtue and Moir will begin defence of their ice dance gold medal.

In the ladies short program, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., is also set to make her Olympic debut for Canada at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 11:10 a.m. ET).

Osmond, 18, will be competing against the likes of Mao Asada of Japan, plus talented Carolina Kostner of Italy and hometown sweetheart Julia Lipnitskaia.

In the team event's pairs free program, Dylan Moscovitch and Kirsten Moore-Towers may replace Duhamel and Radford for Canada. If they do, the fresh duo will have their hands full with leaders Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia.

The team event is a new addition to the Olympics, and features skaters from the top 10 countries. Each country begins the competition with one entry in each of the four disciplines — men, women, ice dance and pairs.

Points are awarded based on final overall ranking. Every first-place finisher receives 10 points, second place gets nine, third earns eight, and so forth.

Following the short programs, the five countries with the most points in each of the disciplines advance to the free skate.

The team event wraps up Sunday with the men’s and ladies’ free, followed by the ice dance free, which will determine the medallists (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 a.m. ET).

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