Olympic Champions Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot of Germany added the World gold medal to their impressive resume, setting new record scores en route and winning with 20 points to spare at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Milan (ITA) Thursday. Russia’s two-time European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov claimed the silver medal. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres of France earned the bronze, their first World medal.
Savchenko/Massot turned in a mesmerizing performance to ‘La Terre Vue du Ciel’, reeling off a huge triple twist, a throw triple flip, triple Salchow-double toe-double toe combination, side by side triple toe as well as spectacular lifts and spins. As the music built, the audience grew louder and louder until they crowd erupted in cheers and a standing ovation at the end. Savchenko/Massot set a new record score in the Free Skating with 162.86 points and also broke the record for the total score with 245.84 points. The German Champions collected 21 perfect 10.00 in the components for performance, composition and music interpretation. Savchenko now is a six-time World Champion, three-time Olympic medalist and one of the most decorated figure skaters in the history of the sport.
“It was tough, but we were focused and did everything. We tried to enjoy it even more than at the Olympic Games, but it was different. I was really focused on the elements. At the end, I kissed the ice and thanked the ice,” Savchenko said.
“Physically it was hard. We were tired, we didn’t have much of preparation, and so we really did it thanks to mental strength, with our hearts as we really wanted to give a good performance for our families that are sitting up there in the stands. It was hard, but it was magical,” Massot added.
Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (GER)
Tarasova/Morozov, who had drawn to skate last, turned in a strong performance of their Boogie Woogie program that included a quadruple twist, throw triple Salchow and loop as well as difficult lifts. However, Morozov doubled the side by side Salchow and struggled with the toeloop combination. The two-time European Champions scored 144.24 points and totaled 225.53 points to win their first World silver medal, upgrading from the bronze they had a year ago.
“We are glad that we were able to deal with the stress and the tiredness. Not everything worked out in the program, but we tried hard and we gave a 100 percent. We were able to redeem ourselves after the unsuccessful performance in Korea,” Tarasova shared.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
James/Cipres opened their emotional program to ‘Sound of Silence’ with a triple twist and a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, but then James crashed badly on the throw triple Salchow. She recovered instantly and the French team made no further mistake, hitting a triple Salchow, throw triple flip and level-four lifts. The 2017 European bronze medalists set a season’s best of 143.04 points and accumulated 218.36 points overall.
“Finally a dream came true. We are just happy. We weren’t expecting to medal at Worlds yet this season, at Europeans yes and at a Grand Prix Event and we also wanted to go to the Final. Today is just like a gift. There hasn’t been a medal for France in the Pairs event (at World Championships) in 18 years,” Cipres told the press.
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres (FRA)
Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) came fourth with a solid performance, scoring 207.88 points. Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) finished fifth on 206.06 points and Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN) pulled up from 10th to sixth at 204.33 points.