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Volosozhar, Trankov to skate next season amid other pairs changes

Tatyana Volosozhar, Maksim Trankov

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia compete in the pairs free skate figure skating competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Bernat Armangue

Russian Olympic champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov will skate in the next Grand Prix season, but the elite pairs scene they’ll return to will have changed.

Volosozhar and Trankov, who skipped the World Championships last week, said they will be back for 2014-15, according to Russia Figure Skating’s website. They could be in line to defend their Grand Prix Final and European Championships titles.

They won’t be facing top rivals Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who won last week’s World Championship, because Szolkowy is retiring. Savchenko may continue with a French partner, which would require sitting out one season due to a nationality switch.

Volosozhar and Trankov could face less competition domestically, too. The third Russian pair from the Sochi Olympics, Yuri Larionov and Vera Bazarova, have also split, according to R-Sport. They finished sixth in Sochi.

That’s in addition to the retirement of China’s Pang Qing and Tong Jian, who retired after finishing fourth in Sochi.

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