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French ice dancers Papadakis and Cizeron win first Olympic gold
French figure skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won their first Olympic gold in ice dancing Monday in Beijing, breaking their own world record again in the process.
The duo, who scored 226.98 in total to beat their previous high score of 226.61, are five-time European and four-time world champions.
But it is their first Olympic title after coming second at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 when a wardrobe malfunction disrupted their performance.
This time, sleek in shimmering red and gold, there were no such problems as they spun across the ice to "Elegie" by Gabriel Faure.
Their free dance score of 136.15 was just shy of the world record, which they also hold.
Russia's Nikita Katsalapov and Victoria Sinitsina, the reigning European and world champions after Papadakis and Cizeron skipped those competitions due to Covid concerns, had to settle for silver.
Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue took bronze on what they have said will be their last Olympics.
Papadakis said: "I think we don't believe it yet. Honestly it feels completely unreal. We have been waiting for this. This is the medal that we wanted."
"For years this was the only medal that we wanted and the past four years were just about that moment. We worked a lot and it was very hard."
Cizeron described the route that clinched gold as "like time stops. You kind of get through it and then it's over".
"We just relied on our trust, and we borrowed energy of all of our teammates and coaches. It's memories... that I will never forget," he said.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov earned 131.66 for their passionate interpretation of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, and 220.51 overall.
Dressed in billowing black and white, they rippled across the floor but it was not enough to catch the French, who had pulled ahead in Saturday's rhythm dance with another record-breaking performance.