BEIJING (Reuters) – German pair Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert battled through a rocky free skate on Saturday, suffering from a lack of preparation after Seegert was forced to spend nearly two weeks in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.
The pair were forced to miss the team event earlier this month after Seegert went into quarantine, leaving Hase to train on her own ahead of the pairs event.
At Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Seegert scrunched up his face while trying to lift Hase but twice failed to do so despite the crowd rallying behind them with cheers and applause. The pair scored 87.32 points, sitting in last place with 149.69 points overall with eight skaters to go.
Hase said Seegert had not sustained an injury during their skate but was rather displaying what she called his “fighting face.”
“It was just pure fighting and I’m really proud of him that he pulled me through this programme,” Hase said, resting her head on Seegert’s shoulder after their performance.
“We were done. We were just done,” the 22-year-old added.
Some skaters, including American Vincent Zhou, were forced to sit out their event after testing positive for COVID-19.
Ukraine’s Ivan Shmuratko had to sit out the team event after testing positive but returned to competition in time for the singles event.
On the pairs side, Hungary’s Ioulia Chtchetinina and Mark Magyar were forced to withdraw after Magyar tested positive for the virus.
“We go on the ice every day for a reason,” Seegert told reporters. “To be out almost 14 days is a really long time directly in front of the biggest competition of your career.”
(Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Toby Davis)