French pair Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron broke their own world record at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
They delivered a 92.73-point rhythm dance in Montpelier, surpassing their previous world record score of 90.83 from the Olympics which saw the pair take home gold in the ice dance.
That score of 92.73 has given them a 3.01-point lead heading into Saturday’s free dance. The pair can now move one title shy of the world championships record won by a single couple, since Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev accomplished this feat in the 1970s.
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This means that Papadakis and Cizeron could become the first ice dance team to win five world championship titles in nearly 50 years.
"We really had a lot of fun out there," said Cizeron after.
"The fact that our friends, our parents, our fans are there to support us, it really warms our hearts. That's one of the reasons why we wanted to come. Especially after Games almost behind closed doors, it feels really good."
The French have dominated the figure skating landscape in recent years, with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov the only pair to beat them since the 2018 Olympics. They are not competing at this year’s world championships due to the current ban on Russian athletes.
Meanwhile, two American pairs occupy second and third place respectively in the standings.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are second, while Madison Chock and Even Bates occupy third spot.
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