French pair Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron said their world record performance in the ice dance short programme at Beijing 2022 was a “little revenge” after their hopes were hit by a wardrobe malfunction four years ago.
An ill-timed calamity saw Papadakis’ dress come undone during the opening moments of their rhythm routine at PyeongChang 2018.
Although they put the distraction to one side to complete the routine and followed it up with a world record in the free dance, they were pipped to gold by Canadian legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
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They returned to Olympic competition in China on Saturday with a stunning routine to a John Legend medley, scoring 90.83 to assert themselves as the leading force ahead of the free skate.
The Olympic title is the only one missing from their collection and the pair admit they have extra motivation after their 2018 heartbreak.
"We are super happy with our performance, we are in a totally different place from where we were four years ago,” Cizeron told Eurosport.
“Mentally and in terms of preparation too. We did not have a good memory of the short program there. We are super happy with our performance so indeed, it is a little revenge."
The five-time European champions lead ROC’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (88.85) and Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue heading into Monday’s finale (1:15 GMT).
"Everything went well, like a dream. It was a majestic, perfect passage,” said former French figure skater and Eurosport expert Alban Preaubert.

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What happened at PyeongChang 2018?

Papadakis' dress gave way just seconds into the short dance routine in South Korea. Here's how it unfolded:
First, Cizeron's hand accidentally dislodges his partner's choker...

Gabriella Papadakis and partner Guillaume Cizeron

Image credit: Getty Images

The choker detaches and falls free...

Gabriella Papadakis and partner Guillaume Cizeron

Image credit: Getty Images

As the choker slips it brings the left of her garment out of place...

Gabriella Papadakis and partner Guillaume Cizeron

Image credit: Getty Images

Poor Papadakis is left exposed, as can be seen from the back.

Gabriella Papadakis and partner Guillaume Cizeron

Image credit: Getty Images

"It was pretty distracting," said Papadakis.
My worst nightmare at the Olympics. I told myself 'you have to keep going'.
"That's what we did, and we have to be proud of ourselves, delivering a great performance with that happening."
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