Bulgarians, Canadians 1-2 in ice dancing again
Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski of Bulgaria won a second straight ice dancing title, while Canadian champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon were second for the second year in a row at the world figure skating championships.
Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto finished third. It was the exact top-three result as last year in Calgary.
Canadian silver medallists Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., were sixth, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., were 20th among 29 couples.
Dubreuil and Lauzon were first onto the ice in the final flight of five couples and presented the bluesy free dance to At Last by Etta James in which they pretend they are winding down at the end of a wedding reception. The only mistake they made was being slightly out of sync on a circular footwork section. Their overall point total was 200.46.
Belbin and Agosto were next and they made two mistakes during their Flamenco dance. The Kingston, Ont.-born Belbin, who put a dark rinse in her blonde hair to better suit her role, stepped out of line on a footwork segment and they held a lift longer than the rules allow. Their total was 195.43. They didn't think they'd be on the podium.
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France were next and minor mistakes kept them from moving up in the standings. They had a 195.19 total. They'd wind up fourth.
Denkova and Staviski, dressed all in white, skated strongly and without error with a Seven Deadly Sins theme and celebrated upon seeing their total of 201.61 flashed on the giant arena scoreboard. Staviski pumped a clenched fist in the air.
Denkova, 32, had said before the competition that this was to be her last. She goes out a winner.
Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia were last, dancing to traditional folk music and with Shabalin decked out in furs including racoon tails hanging from the left hip. The judges didn't like it and they had 193.44 for fifth place overall.