– Helsinki, Finland
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 continued in Helsinki, Finland, Friday with the Short Dance.
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada won the Short Dance, setting a new record score en route. Defending Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France came second and USA’s Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue follow in third place.
Virtue/Moir put out a dynamic performance to “Kiss”, “Five Women” and “Purple Rain” by Prince, earning a level four all five elements to set a new personal best of 82.43 points, surpassing their own record of 80.50 points set at the Grand Prix Final earlier this season. “It was a strong performance. Nice to end the season with a season’s best for sure but it was just so much fun. It’s a really wonderful thing to be back at world Championships. Technically we really try to raise the level of our skating and we needed to because the level of competition is so stiff and so strong. But also part of this comeback was to skate artistically in a way that we feel represents the place we are in right now as artists”, Virtue said.
Papadakis/Cizeron’s fluid dance to the Blues “Bittersweet” and the Swing “Diga Diga Doo” featured a level-four lift and level-four Blues pattern while the other elements garnered a level three. In the twizzles, Cizeron missed one rotation and cut himself in the hand with his blade. The two-time and reigning World Champions scored 76.89 points. “I cut myself in between the fingers trying to grab my blade in the twizzles. It happens a lot, but usually it is not so big. I got two stitches but I’m fine”, Cizeron commented. “I think the way we approach the competition is that Gabi and I haven’t anything to lose here. We just want to skate as best as we can, have the best feeling on the ice and share the experience with the other skaters and the public”, he explained when asked about feeling pressure to defend their title.
Hubbell/Donohue put out a strong performance to Blues and a Hip Hop medley as well, picking up a level four for the Blues pattern, the twizzles, lift and side by side footwork. The 2014 Four Continents Champions posted a new personal best with 76.53 points. “Great performance today and we skated as we intended: we stayed calm and were just in this moment. This program shows the evolution of our skating, that we believe in ourselves and can think out of the box. We have a completely new way of thinking now, we come to the competition to win believing that anything is possible and we proved it today to ourselves”, Hubbell commented.
Two-time World medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) remained closed to the podium in fourth place at 76.25 points with an entertaining dance to Blues and Hip Hop. 2016 World silver medalists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) came fifth (74.88) followed by Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) with 74.84 points.