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France takes gold at World Figure Skating Championships

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By Daniel Bellamy  with Reuters
France takes gold at World Figure Skating Championships

France has taken the gold in the ice dancing at the World Figure Skating Championships in Japan.

The unstoppable 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.

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.

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 222.65 altogether.

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 dogged 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.

Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov finished second ahead of Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.