Madison Chock and Evan Bates could not become the second U.S. ice dance couple to win a World Championship, dropping from first after the short dance to take silver following the free dance in Shanghai on Friday.
“I had a bobble on my twizzle, but after that, I was like, ‘Nope, I want this too badly, and I’m going to fight my tail off to get it,'” Chock said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.
Chock and Bates finished 2.94 points behind French gold medalists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. The French couple jumped from fourth in the short dance, overcoming a 2.53-point deficit to the Americans.
“It’s a big surprise,” Papadakis said. “I have no words.”
Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje earned the bronze (full results here).
Papadakis, 19, and Cizeron, 20, captured their biggest crown in their second season as senior skaters and became the youngest World champions in ice dance in 40 years.
They previously earned silver at the 2013 World Junior Championships and gold at the most recent European Championships in January. They were 13th at their senior-level World Championships debut last March.
“The summer before this season, our goal was to be in the top 10,” Cizeron said.
This season marked a major shake-up in ice dance, with the last two Olympic champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, sitting out. It’s unknown if or when they will return to competition.
Chock and Bates hoped to join Davis and White as the only U.S. ice dance couples to win World titles. They took silver in three straight international events — the Grand Prix Final in December, the Four Continents Championships in February and now the World Championships.
That’s remarkably strong consistency for a couple that finished eighth at the Sochi Olympics and fifth at the World Championships last March. Their goal this season was to earn a medal at Worlds.
“This is unchartered territory for us, and it’s harder than it looks,” Bates said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.
Chock and Bates’ silvers will likely be the only medals won by Americans at these World Championships. The top U.S. pair finished seventh. The top U.S. woman was in seventh after the short program. A U.S. man has not won a medal at Worlds since 2009.
Gold: Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 184.28
Silver: Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 181.34
Bronze: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 179.42
4. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) — 177.50
5. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 172.03
10. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 156.56