Canadians win World pairs title; best U.S. finish since 2011

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Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford became the first Canadians to win a pairs World Championship since 2001, while the best U.S. pair finished seventh in Shanghai on Thursday.

Duhamel and Radford, the two-time World bronze medalists and pre-event favorites, added to their lead from the short program Wednesday and prevailed by 7.41 with 221.53 total points (full results here).

China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong and Pang Qing and Tong Jian earned silver and bronze.

The last Canadian World champions in pairs were Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, who took the crown in 2001 and then were co-Olympic champions in the 2002 judging scandal.

Also Thursday, U.S. champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim executed a quad twist, but both also erred on jumps in the free skate to finish seventh. They were also in seventh after the short program.

It’s an improvement over their ninth-place finish from their Worlds debut in 2012 and marked the best U.S. finish since 2011, though they came to Shanghai with a top-six goal.

“We can improve on every aspect of our skating,” Scimeca said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “There are no limits to our potential.”

U.S. silver medalists Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier finished 12th in their Worlds debut.

The reigning Russian Olympic champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov and 2014 German World champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy were not in the competition. Savchenko and Szolkowy are no longer competing together.

Pairs Final Results
Gold: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 221.53
Silver: Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN) — 214.12
Bronze: Pang Qing/Tong Jian (CHN) — 212.77
4. Peng Cheng/Zhang Hao (CHN) — 206.63
5. Yuko Kavaguti/Aleksander Smirnov (RUS) — 198.91
7. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) — 185.81
12. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 172.51

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