Virtue, Moir win world championship
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir capped their magical season Friday with their first world championship in ice dance in Turin, Italy.
Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., earned 110.01 points for their free dance performance to Mahler's Symphony No. 5, to help them finish just 1.40 points ahead of friends Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States.
"We're so thrilled with our season," Virtue told CBC Sports. "The two [victories at the Olympics and worlds], it's a great payoff. We really peaked at the right time."
Virtue and Moir had set a world record with 70.27 points in their original dance flamenco routine on Thursday to help them to a margin the Americans couldn't bridge despite having the best score in the free dance.
The Vancouver Olympic champions performed their innovative goose manoeuvre in the free dance, in which Virtue balances on Moir's back with her knee. They received a point deduction for an extended lift.
Virtue, 20, and Moir, 22, completed their world championship medal collection, having won silver and bronze the last two years, and hinted that they're not finished competing yet.
"We haven't really talked and our theory is we can't really make a decision until we've kind of had some time off and get our thoughts adjusted," Moir told The Canadian Press. "But especially after you have a skate like that, it felt really good tonight, it was a lot of fun to skate it.
"It feels like I want to skate another year for sure but it's so easy to say that after a skate like that."
Davis, 23, and White, 22, finished fourth at the last year's worlds in Los Angeles, but they have also enjoyed a tremendous season.
They earned the best marks of the free dance on Friday, 110.49 points, for their Phantom of the Opera routine. Davis and White, the silver medallists in Vancouver, had a total score of 223.03 points.
The two teams, who both train at the same facility in Canton, Mich., were well ahead of the pack.
Battle for bronze
There was a spirited battle for bronze, with Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy just over three points ahead of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France.
Vanessa Crone of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., moved a spot to finish in seventh.
Crone and Poirier achieved a career best 91.22 points in the free dance. The Canadians finished with a total of 180.30 points after a season best in the original dance on Thursday.
"It feels fantastic," Poirier said. "It's very satisfying to show our hard work has paid off and has brought us to that next level."
Crone and Poirer were 14th at the Vancouver Games last month and 12th at last year's worlds.
The strong showing of the two Canadian entries means Skate Canada will able to send three teams in ice dance at next year's championships in Tokyo.
Great Britain's popular and innovative sibling team, Sinead and John Kerr, finished fifth.
Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski of Russia, who won bronze at the 2008 world championships, dropped out of the competition after sitting in seventh after the first two dances.
With files from The Canadian Press