Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford win pairs gold
Canadians claim 1st world title
Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the gold medal in the pairs event Thursday at the world figure skating championships in Shanghai.
It's the first world title for the pair, which took bronze at the last two world championships. They were also part of the Canadian team that won silver in the team event at last year's Sochi Olympics, where they finished seventh in the pairs competition.
This is Canada's first victory in the pairs event at worlds since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won gold in 2001.
"Some dreams are so big that you can't even imagine them happening and it's all happening right now," said Radford. "I could never have imagined it and I can't tell if it's a dream or reality.
"We've worked so hard to get here and it's amazing."
Thursday's victory capped a perfect season for Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., who have won gold in every event they've entered in 2014-15, including the Grand Prix Final, Four Continents championships and Canadian championships.
"This is a very personal victory. Every single victory along the way this season had a very special meaning," Duhamel said.
In Shanghai, the Canadians posted the top score in both the short skate and Thursday's free program, finishing with a total of 221.53 points.
Chinese skaters gave the home crowd something to cheer for by taking spots two through four.
Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the silver medal with a score of 214.12, leapfrogging Pang Qing and Tong Jian, who got the bronze with 212.77.
Pang and Tong, who came out of retirement this year to finish their careers in Shanghai, now have six world medals (two gold, one silver, three bronze) to go with their silver medal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"I fulfilled [my partner's] wishes to come back to the rink," Tong said, before adding with a smile, "I certainly hope Pang Qing will not drag me back to the rink once again."
Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao finished fourth with 206.63 points.
Canada's Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau finished eighth (178.03) and Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch were 13th (169.91).
With files from The Canadian Press