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Papadakis and Cizeron set new ice dancing record

© AFP | France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron perform during the Ice Dance Free Dance during the Internationaux de France ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Grenoble, France on November 18, 2017

GRENOBLE (FRANCE) (AFP) - 

French duo Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron laid down a marker for the 2018 Winter Olympics by setting a new ice dance world-record score at the Grand Prix event in Grenoble on Saturday.

The two-time former world champions became the first ice-dancing pair to ever break 200 points earlier this month in China, and they posted a new best of 201.98 points at the Internationaux de France.

Papadakis, 22, and Cizeron, 23, performed a near-perfect free dance routine to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to become the first dancers to break the 120-point barrier.

They finished over 20 points clear of second-placed Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates overall, with Russia's Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin claiming the bronze.

It was their third victory at the Internationaux de France, previously known as the Trophee de France, and a third top-tier win of the season.

"It's great, we've done very well at all the competitions we've done so far," Papadakis said.

"It proves that we are in the right direction for the Olympics. It gives us a lot of confidence."

Papadakis and Cizeron will now head to Nagoya in Japan for December's Grand Prix Final as the favourites, before bidding for a maiden Olympic medal at the Games in Pyeongchang in February.

Reigning European pairs champions Evgeniya Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took gold for Russia by holding off home hopes Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres, while 15-year-old Alina Zagitova led a Russian one-two ahead of Maria Sotskova in the women's category.

© 2017 AFP