France’s Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron once more reigned supreme on the ice to dance to their fourth World title as the ISU World Figure Skating Championships continued in Saitama (JPN) on Saturday. Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov claimed the silver, their first World medal, while Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) pulled up one spot to earn the bronze. All three couples posted a new seasons best score.
Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS), Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating last, Papadakis/Cizeron turned in a mesmerizing performance of their dance to “Duet” and “Sunday Afternoon” by Rachael Yamagata, executing difficult lifts and footwork effortlessly. The Oly collecting a level four for all seven elements and a total of 26 perfect 10.00 in the program component scores. The Olympic silver medalists earned 134.23 points for the Free Dance and totaled 222.65 points. Both scores are new highest scores in Ice Dance. “We’re very, very happy with our performance. It was a great performance,” Papadakis said. “It is always a challenge. We wanted to win the competition and this year focused on what we want to achieve. It is a tough competition with lots of competitors and it is not easy to fight against the stress and pressure. We’re just very proud we did it again this year,” she continued.
Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Sinitsina/Katsalapov’s fluid dance to “Air” by Johann Sebastian Bach and Praeludium and Allegro by Fritz Kreisler was highlighted by beautiful lifts and smooth steps. The Russian Champions had a level four for their elements as well and were awarded 127.82 points which added up to 211.76 points. “This competition went really well for us. We’ve prepared a lot and worked very hard for this and the work paid off,” Katsalapov told the press. “However, there is only one medal in the sport, and that is the gold medal. We’re on the right track,” he added.
Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Hubbell/Donohue delivered an excellent performance to “Romeo and Juliet”, with difficult lifts and footwork. The 2018 World silver medalists achieved the same levels as the French and Russian teams and picked up 127.31 points for their Free Dance. With a total of 210.40 points, they pulled up from fourth to win their second consecutive World medal. “Zac and me are incredibly pleased with our performance today. This has been arguably our best season, our best calendar year starting last World Championships in Milan. We have grown so much as a team, and our programs, especially the free dance, has shown that growth changing from competition to competition,” Hubbell commented.
Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) turned in a strong performance of their Blues program as well, but nevertheless slipped from third to fourth at 208.52 points. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) placed fifth (205.62 points) followed by 2019 Four Continents Champions Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) in sixth on 82.32 points.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships continue Saturday with the Men Free Skating Free Skating.