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A Golden World for Virtue and Moir

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir capped off the most successful season of their career wining their first World title in Torino, Italy yesterday. Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the U.S. claimed the silver medal and Italy’s Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali danced to bronze. It was a first World Championship medal for both the American and Italian teams.

Virtue and Moir gave a beautiful performance to their romantic “Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.” The 2010 Olympic champions earned level fours for all elements other than the twizzles, during which Moir stumbled. Their score of 110.03 points was only the second best in the free dance portion but enough for the duo to hold on to first place. Virtue and Moir earned 224.43 points overall.

“It was a strong skate for Tessa and I. It felt really good from the moment we started,” Moir said. “I had a little stumble…to tell you the truth it didn’t feel as bad as it looked on the replay. I guess one mistake in six skates, I’ll take it.”

The team peaked at the right time this season, Virtue added. “Throughout the Olympic Games and heading into the World Championships, we made a lot of progress. I think we timed our training perfectly, so that’s great and I think we learned a lot from that,” she said.

Davis and White missed the top step of the podium by 1.40 points. The American champions earned level fours for six of the seven elements they executed, earning a level three for the diagonal step sequence. Davis and White posted a season high score of 110.49, winning the free dance segment, but remained in second place with a final tally of 223.03.

“We wanted to go out and attack every element and that’s exactly what we did. We really love that program, the 'Phantom,'” White said. “I feel we really connected with it and I think that was something the audience and the judges were able to feel. It was an amazing performance, we were just dead at the end, we left it all out on the ice.”

Dancing to “The Emigrants” by Nino Rota, Faiella and Scali gave the sold out crowd at La Palavela reason to cheer, executing intricate footwork and beautiful lifts. Their score of 91.34 points was only fourth best in the free dance but the duo placed third overall with 197.85 points.

“I don’t have words to express my joy. It has been a very hard championship, with tiredness and Federica’s illness,” Scali said. “It is a bronze that is just like a gold medal for us. Last week we were close to withdrawing. We have been two weeks without skating because Federica came back from Vancouver very sick. But we really wanted this medal for us and for Italy. I have to thank Federica, she has been fantastic.”

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France finished fourth with 194.39 points and Great Britain’s Sinead Kerr and John Kerr danced to fifth with 189.11 points.

Russia’s Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski, the 2010 European bronze medalists were forced to withdraw after the morning practice. Novitski has a knee injury.