PyeongChang 2018 Olympic silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France reigned supreme in the Ice Dance event at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018, taking their third World title setting new highest scores. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) danced to the silver medal, their first World medal while Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje returned to the World podium for the first time after 2015 and earned their third medal.
Papadakis/Cizeron delivered a beautiful dance to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, effortlessly completing intricate footwork and innovative lifts. The four-time European Champions, collected a level four for all elements and 30 perfect 10.00, including 10.00 from all nine judges for performance. The French Champions set a new highest score in the Free Dance with 123.47 points and overall with 207.20 points.
“We’re really happy about what we did today, of course because of the scores but before that because of the feeling we had on the ice. We had so much fun and felt like we had so much control of what we were doing. It was one of the first times we achieved such a level of quality in our program and the connection was incredible between the two of us and with the public. The atmosphere around us felt like a special moment,” Cizeron shared. “It is a beautiful victory, it’s cool. We are very proud of this third gold medal. I think this will be one of the moments for us to remember, we beat three world records – in the short, the free and overall,” he added.
Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
Hubbell/Donohue’s sultry Blues to ‘Make It Rain’ featured seven level-four elements as well and the U.S. Champions achieved a new personal best with 116.22 points. They totaled 196.64 points.
“Zach and I are obviously very pleased. We’ve never been on a World Championship podium before and to be here after this tough season is just a great way to finish. We feel we have done a lot of work tackling our demons and fear and all the what ifs that go through our minds. We’ve had a history of making errors and giving up place so today’s performance met our goal of keeping in the moment, keeping the connection, and believing what we did was enough. It turned out it was so we are pleased and looking forward to the future,” Hubbell told the post-event press conference.
Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (USA)
Dancing to ‘Je suis malade’, Weaver/Poje put out an emotional performance, earning a level four for the lifts, twizzles, spin and diagonal footwork. With a personal best of 114.04 points, the Canadians were ranked third in the Free Dance, but held on to third place on 192.35 points overall.
“I don't have words for this moment. The program went by so fast and before we knew it we were climbing the podium,” Weaver said. “We’ve had a very difficult season riddled with injuries and with some of the lowest lows of our career, so it’s remarkable that we can end on this high note with our favorite program and probably the best performance we’ve had. So we have nothing but joy to share today,” she continued.
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN)
2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) skated to ‘Life Is Beautiful’ and missed the podium by just 0.27 points to come fourth on 192.08 points with the third-best Free Dance.
“Whatever the result, today was probably the biggest emotion we have ever had skating. Today we gave all we had to each other. We never imagined when we were children that we would arrive so high, to get so far,” Lanotte commented. Two-time World medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) placed fifth with ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN), who interpreted a James Bond theme, were sixth (186.10 points).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. For more information, full entry lists and results please see the ISU website and official event website. Follow the discussion on social media by using the hashtags #WorldFigure and #Milano2018