Just in time for next year’s World Figure Skating Championships on home soil, Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold today for Canada, regaining the title they lost to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White last year. The ice dance medals were the first to be awarded in Nice, France, hours after the ladies took the ice for their short programs.
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VIDEOS: Free dance
It was a close race between the top two, but it came down to the technical base values from the two teams. Virtue and Moir skated well, though not as precisely as they had when they won the Four Continents title last month. Still, their base value was 1.50 higher than that of the Americans, and they were able to extend their short dance lead to win gold with a 182.65. Davis and White skated brilliantly but had a disadvantage on their base value, taking the silver with a 178.62.
Home team Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat won the bronze, a tremendous accomplishment considering Pechalat’s battle with the broken nose that she suffered in practice two weeks ago. They skated a strong free dance to finally win their first World medal, and a sweet feat on home ice.
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Free dance
Canadian silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje skated an emotional free dance to take fourth, their highest placement ever at a World Championships, ahead of Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, who were the highest-placing Russians, in fifth.
U.S. silver medalists and defending World bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani had a disastrous opening to the free dance, completely botching their twizzle sequence, usually a highlight in their programs. The mistake cost them the value of their entire sequence, which would have been six points. They finished eighth.
But like last year, the Americans put three teams in the top ten, with U.S. bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue placing tenth in their debut at Worlds.
DANCE (final standings)
1. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir CAN – 182.65
2. Meryl Davis/Charlie White USA – 178.62
3. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat FRA – 173.18
4. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje CAN – 166.65
5. Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov RUS – 161.00
6. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte ITA – 160.62
7. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev RUS – 150.75
8. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani USA – 144.72
9. Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko RUS – 144.43
10. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue USA – 143.95
11. Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gazsi GER – 141.36
12. Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng CHN – 130.27
13. Kharis Ralph/Asher Hill CAN – 129.55
14. Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland GBR – 129.31
15. Siobhan Heekin-Canedy/Dmitri Dun UKR – 128.75
16. Lorenza Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi ITA – 126.89
17. Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov AZE – 126.57
18. Isabella Tobias/Deividas Stagniunas LTU – 124.07
19. Sara Hurtado/Adria Diaz ESP – 123.12
20. Danielle O’Brien/Gregory Merriman AUS – 112.23
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