Figure skating: Papadakis, Cizeron take fourth crown, set new record
Send a link to a friend
[March 23, 2019]
By Elaine Lies
SAITAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Unstoppable
French ice dance duo of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron
took their fourth world championship crown and set a new world
record with a sensual routine that won a standing ovation from the
packed crowd on Saturday.
The two, who were narrowly edged out of gold at the Pyeongchang
Olympics after Papadakis's costume came unfastened in the short
dance, surged to victory at the Saitama Super Arena after tango-ing
to a substantial lead in the rhythm dance short skate.
With a new scoring system in place this season, Papadakis and
Cizeron seemed to mirror each other through a series of spins and
gravity-defying lifts and finished with 134.23 in the free dance and
They ended up roughly 10 points ahead of their nearest rivals and
eclipsed their own world record set at this year's European
Championships after a season shadowed by back problems for Cizeron.
"We were exactly here five years ago in Saitama (for the World
Championships) and remember the whole experience from those five
years. It is incredible," said Papadakis.
Cizeron added: "It was such a tough competition, all competitors
have worked very hard and it is such a high level in ice dance this
"We did a good job today and we are proud of ourselves."
In second were Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov,
who embraced each other without moving on the ice after finishing a
flowing routine that built on their second-place finish in the short
dance for a season's best 127.82 in the free and 211.76 overall.
[to top of second column]
Gold medallists France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron
celebrate on the podium of the Ice Dance competition. REUTERS/Issei
"I can say that the competitions were hard for us, but we tried our
best and did everything we could," Sinitsina said.
"It has been five years we started to skate together and we know
each other very well. The cooperation in our couple comes from our
Third place was taken by the American pair of Madison Hubbell and
Zachary Donohue, who took top spot at the nationals and the 2018
Grand Prix Final in the absence of Papadakis and Cizeron, who did
not take part due to injury.
"We feel like we put our strongest performance this year here at
Worlds, and that was our goal," Hubbell said, adding that the duo is
already looking forward.
"Next season we would like to be competing for the top of the
podium, we think team USA is incredibly strong in ice dance, it
keeps us on our toes."
The worlds conclude later on Saturday with the men's free skate,
with American Nathan Chen holding a commanding lead over compatriot
Jason Brown and double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.