April 1, 2016 / 4:21 AM / 2 years ago

France's Papadakis, Cizeron retain ice dance world crown

(Reuters) - Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France successfully defended their ice dance title at the figure skating world championships in Boston on Thursday, while Americans filled out the podium.

Figure Skating - ISU World Figure Skating Championships - Ice Dance Free Dance - Boston, Massachusetts, United States - 31/03/16 - Silver medalists Maia Shibutani (L) and Alex Shibutani (2nd L) of the United States, gold medalists Gabriella Papadakis (3rd L) and Guillaume Cizeron (3rd R) of France, and bronze medalists Madison Chock (2nd L) and Evan Bates (R) of the United States pose on the medals podium. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The French pair backed up their first place finish in the short dance with a record score in the free dance, posting the second highest total of all-time at 194.46 points on the way to the title.

Becoming the first ice dance couple to retain the title since 2007, the duo posted the highest scoring free dance (118.17) in international competition under the scoring system implemented in 2005.

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s 195.52 from the Sochi Olympics is the only better total, but Davis and White lost their free-dance world record.

“I could not be happier to pass that along to them,” White said on Icenetwork.com. “I was just in awe the entire program. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Four Continents champions Maia and Alex Shibutani took second place with 188.43, while 2015 world silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates clocked up 185.77 points to take third for the USA.

Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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