SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Meryl Davis and Charlie White once again raised the bar as their spectacular performance on Sunday to a medley of songs from 'My Fair Lady' put them within striking distance of becoming the first Americans to win the Olympic ice dance title.
Davis and White have made a habit of breaking their world record scores and proved it again as they beat Canadian training partners and Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir with a score of 78.89.
A week after what Moir described as getting "smoked" by their rivals in the team competition, when they were blown away by nearly 10 points, the Canadians produced a far more polished performance to earn 76.33.
The side-by-side twizzles that had gone so spectacularly out of sync eight days ago were spot on and they finished their jazz-infused display to a medley of songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with a flourish, with Virtue lying on her back across a spinning Moir's shoulders.
They were visibly overjoyed with their routine and an excited Moir lifted Virtue off the ice as soon as they had completed their final pose.
But their hopes of ending Davis and White's 22-month unbeaten streak took a hit when the scores flashed up to show that the Americans will carry a 2.56 point cushion into Monday's free dance.
Russia Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov are third with 73.04.
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Gene Cherry)