HELSINKI – Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are back on top in ice dancing. The two-time Olympic medallists won the gold medal Saturday to conclude the ISU World Figure Skating Championships and complete a perfect comeback season.
The contest was close with Virtue and Moir holding on to first despite a slip by Moir as they totalled 198.62 points. It is their third world title.
Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the free dance to finish at 196.04 while Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 185.18.
‘’We accomplished a lot of great things in this program technically that allowed us to stay on top against a really, really good French team,’’ said Moir from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We knew we were going to be in a fight for the world title.’’
The victory caps a great comeback season for the 2010 Olympic champions. They sat out their first two seasons after the Olympic silver in Sochi. In 2016-17, they went undefeated in seven competitions producing several record scores including a world mark in Friday’s short dance.
‘’We wanted to win worlds,’’ said Moir. ‘’We trained well, we felt we prepared ideally for this whole season.’’
Two-time world championship medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., emerged a half-point from the podium finishing fourth at 184.81 after standing sixth after the short dance.
’We wanted to bring the happiness back into our skating and express who we are,’’ said Poje. ‘’We went through some ups and downs this season and had to rediscover ourselves. We are very proud where we are and we know we can build so much more.’’
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto moved from ninth to eighth overall.
‘’We really allowed ourselves to settle into that performance,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t force anything or rush anything. We allowed ourselves to do the work and just get lost in the moment.’’
In men’s competition, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan re-claimed the world crown roaring from fifth place to the gold medal position with a world record free skate for 321.59 points. His compatriot Shoma Uno was second at 319.31 and Boyang Jin of China third at 303.58.
Patrick Chan of Toronto skated to music by teammate and pairs skater Eric Radford and earned 295.16 for fifth place. He landed his three quad jumps but put a hand down on his quad Salchow and stumbled after completing his second quad toe.
‘’The approach I had for this competition was the right one,’’ said Chan, a three-time world champion. ‘’My goal was to rotate all three quads today which I had never done before. It’s great to know that I have the confidence now to do it.’’
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., made an impressive move in the standings from 12th to ninth overall with the eighth best free skate. His first four jumps were all quads including the first two in combination.
‘’It was exhilaration,’’ said Reynolds. ‘’At the most important competition of the season I had a job to do and left here with possibly the two best performances of my career. It was a thrill; everything I worked for in training went exactly right.’’
Canada ends the competition with three medals. On Friday, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., took silver and bronze in women’s competition. It was the first time Canada produced two medallists in the event at worlds.