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US ice dancers reclaim world crown

LONDON, Canada (AFP) –

Gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the US compete, March 16, 2013 in London, Canada

Gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the US compete during the Ice Dance Free Dance event at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships March 16, 2013 in London, Canada. Davis and White reclaimed the world ice dance title from Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for the second time on Saturday at the World Figure Skating Championships.

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White reclaimed the world ice dance title from Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for the second time on Saturday at the World Figure Skating Championships.

The US victory, completed by winning Saturday’s free skate final, signaled that the great rivalry between the training partner duos, both now two-time world champions, will continue through the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“We’re absolutely thrilled, not only winning, but putting out a performance we’re really thrilled with and proud of,” Davis said. “That makes it that much more enjoyable.”

Davis and White led wire to wire, earning 112.44 points for their Notre-Dame de Paris free skate routine and, combined with their short dance triumph, were given a total of 189.56 from the judges as well as cheers from Canadians.

“We’re well aware this is Scott and Tess territory and the level of respect and enthusiasm we got from the audience was really thrilling, so we’re very appreciative,” Davis said.

Virtue and Moir, who captured 2010 Winter Olympic gold at Vancouver, scored 111.17 points for their sultry Carmen interpretation to total 185.04 overall.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir representing Canada   skate their free program in London, Ontario, March 16, 2013

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir representing Canada skate their free program in the dance competition at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario, March 16, 2013. The Canadians took second.

“We would be lying if we said we came in to get silver but our focus was just on ourselves,” Virtue said.

“We are competitive. We like to win and it’s tough to take. We held nothing back in both performances. We had strong, innovative material and this will help us for next year.”

The arch-rivals have traded places on the top step of the winner’s podium three times since Virtue and Moir first won the global title in 2010.

Top honours went to Davis and White in 2011 and then back to the Canadians last year as they have kept a lock on the top two spots since 2010 and were well ahead of the rest of the field.

“Charlie and Meryl are great skaters and we take our hats off to them,” Moir said. “We respect them and know they are strong. They are amazing. We’re both pushing the sport.”

Russians Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev were third coming into the final and held the position with a final total of 169.19.

Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte were fourth with 168.04 while the second Canadian couple, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, finished fifth on 166.20.

Results from the competition determine how many entries each nation will be allowed for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Canada, the United States and Russia took the maximum three Sochi berths as a result of their ice dancers’ finish.

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