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Virtue and Moir add world dance title to Olympic gold

Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir became the first figure skating duo since 1994 to wear the Olympic and world championship crowns in the same season, after edging out US rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White by just 1.43 points on Friday.


AFP - Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir added the world title to their Olympic gold at the world figure skating championships here on Friday.

The couple edged Meryl Davis and Charlie White by just 1.43 points to take the title ahead of their US rivals, just as they did in Vancouver last month.

Italy's Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali claimed bronze, a distant third behind the two leading couples after the free dance final at the Palavela.

"We're really excited to have those two titles, this is big for us. It motivates us for bigger and better things in the future," Moir told Eurosport.

"This has always been in our mind, these two competitions were our main goals.

"Last year was difficult with Tessa's (shin) injury but we just peaked at the right time. It's just fortunate, but we worked very hard for this."

They become the first ice dancers since Russia's Oksana Grishuk and Yevgeny Platov in 1994 to hold the Olympic and world titles in the one season.

Despite an error by Moir on one of their twizzles in their programme to the haunting music of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5, the Canadians held their advantage from the first two rounds - the compulsory and original dance - to take their first world title.

They scored 110.03 for the free dance and 224.43 overall.

Olympic runners-up Davis, 23, and White, 22, showed incredible speed with intricate footwork and step sequences to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera to win the free dance with a career best 110.49 and overall 223.03.

The top two couples, who are both trained by former Soviet ice dancers Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband, were in a class of their own, finishing over 26 points ahead of their rivals.

Faiella and Scali scored 97.84 for their moving routine to Nino Rota's The Emigrants, giving them 197.85 overall, and their first world podium at their ninth attempt.

Virtue, 20, and Moir, 22, became the first Canadian ice dancers to win the ISU world junior championships in 2006, and in Vancouver the first North Americans to win the Olympic title.

But the road to Olympic and world gold has been rocky for the young couple.

They won silver at 2008 worlds, and were boosted by a bronze last year after missing the entire Grand Prix session because of a shin injury Virtue suffered due to overtraining.

They become the second Canadians to win the world title after Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz in 2003.

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