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The 2022 World Figure Skating Championships are in the home stretch, with Friday featuring the rhythm dance portion of the ice dance competition and the women’s free skate that will determine the overall champion.
This year’s event is being held in Montpellier, France.
The home crowd had plenty to cheer about thanks to Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. The French pair, coming off a gold medal win at the 2022 Olympics, are in the top spot after posting a score of 92.73 in the rhythm dance.
Coming into the day, Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto was leading the women’s singles program. She had a score of 80.32 in the free skate Thursday. The 21-year-old won two bronze medals at the Olympics, including in the women’s singles event.
Here are the scores and standings from Friday’s action at Sud de France Arena.
Ice Dance Standings (Rhythm Dance)
1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France): 92.73
2. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (United States): 89.72
3. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (United States): 87.51
4. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (Italy): 84.22
5. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (Canada): 80.79
6. Olivia Smart and Adrian Díaz (Spain): 79.40
7. Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson (Great Britain): 78.89
8. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen (Canada): 78.29
9. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker (United States): 76.56
10. Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius (Lithuania): 74.06
11. Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler (Czech Republic): 72.55
12. Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis (Finland): 71.88
13. Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha (Canada): 70.39
14. Tina Garabedian and Simon Proulx-Senecal (Armenia): 68.50
15. Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi (Japan): 67.77
16. Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksym Nikitin* (Ukraine): 67.70
17. Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya (Georgia): 66.76
18. Sasha Fear and George Waddell (Great Britain): 66.69
19. Holly Harris and Jason Chan (Australia): 64.91
20. Solene Mazingue and Marko Jevgeni Gaidajenko (Estonia): 63.97
21. Shira Ichilov and Volodymyr Byelikov (Israel): 62.57
22. Mariia Ignateva and Danijil Szemko (Hungary): 62.12
23. Jasmine Tessari and Stephane Walker (Switzerland): 60.75
24. Charlotte Lafond-Fournier and Richard Kang-in Kam (New Zealand): 59.45
25. Maria Sofia Pucherova and Nikita Lysak (Slovakia): 58.27
26. Carolina Moscheni and Francesco Fioretti (Italy): 58.21
27. Ekaterina Mitrofanova and Vladislav Kasinskij (Bosnia and Herzegovina): 55.01
28. Anastasia Polibina and Pavel Golovishnikov (Poland): 50.73
29. Ekaterina Kuznetsova and Oleksandr Kolosovskyi (Azerbaijan): 49.14
30. Aurelija Ipolito and Luke Russell (Latvia): 46.00
31. Gaukhar Nauryzova and Boyisangur Datiev (Kazakhstan): 45.87
*Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksym Nikitin withdrew from competition after the rhythm dance.
Women’s Free Skate (Total Score)
1. Kaori Sakamoto, Japan: 155.77 (236.09)
2. Loena Hendrickx, Belgium: 142.70 (217.70)
3. Alysa Liu, United States: 139.28 (211.19)
4. Mariah Bell, United States: 136.11 (208.66)
5. You Young, South Korea: 132.83 (204.91)
6. Anastasiia Gubanova, Georgia: 134.02 (196.61)
7. Lee Hae-in, South Korea: 132.39 (196.55)
8. Karen Chen, United States: 126.35 (192.51)
9. Ekaterina Ryabova, Azerbaijan: 122.98 (188.50)
10. Nicole Schott, Germany: 120.65 (188.42)
11. Wakaba Higuchi, Japan: 121.12 (188.15)
12. Madeline Schizas, Canada: 123.94 (188.14)
13. Ekaterina Kurakova, Poland: 124.51 (186.43)
14. Olga Mikutina, Austria: 120.84 (182.98)
15. Mana Kawabe, Japan: 118.76 (182.44)
16. Niina Petrokina, Estonia: 116.36 (176.60)
17. Lindsay van Zundert, Netherlands: 112.90 (171.39)
18. Julia Sauter, Romania: 112.24 (170.31)
19. Alexia Paganini, Switzerland: 106.93 (170.02)
20. Lara Naki Gutmann, Italy: 106.47 (164.39)
21. Josefin Tajegard, Sweden: 105.72 (163.24)
22. Kailani Craine, Australia: 105.11 (161.75)
23. Natasha McKay, Great Britain: 103.56 (159.27)
24. Dasa Grm, Slovenia: 91.30 (147.12)
Results via ISUResults.com
Papadakis and Cizeron came into this event as the favorite. They posted the high score in the rhythm dance and free dance at the Beijing Games last month.
Rather than rest on their laurels, tough, the French duo took their performance to another level in Montpelier. They broke their own world-record score in the rhythm dance that they previously set at the Olympics.
ISU Figure Skating @ISU_Figure
📺 Wacking their way to the top! 🤩 The Olympic Champions Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron dance to the lead in the Rhythm Dance at <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldFigure?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WorldFigure</a> 🇫🇷<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FigureSkating?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FigureSkating</a> <a href=”https://t.co/z9rknXlPPg”>pic.twitter.com/z9rknXlPPg</a>
“It was magic,” Papadakis said, via NBC Sports. “It was even better than the Olympics.”
Right behind the French pair was Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue from the United States. Their score of 89.72 was more than two points better than what they did at the Winter Olympics (87.13).
Hubbell and Donohue missed out on a silver medal in Beijing because of a one-point deduction in the free dance. They are in prime position to at least take second place at the World Championships, with a two-point edge over the U.S. duo of Madison Chock and Evan Bates (87.51).
There is a clear divide between the top four pairs and everyone else coming out of the rhythm dance. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada are almost 3.5 points behind Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy for the fourth spot.
But all eyes will be on Papadaki
s and Cizeron as they look to cap off a fantastic six-week run with gold at the Olympics and World Championships.
Sakamoto was able to finish off her incredible two-day run by winning gold in the women’s singles competition. Her score of 155.77 in the free skate dwarfed the rest of the field.
ISU Figure Skating @ISU_Figure
📺 What a showdown in the Women‘s Free Skating! 🤩 Kaori Sakamoto shines bright as she claims the 🥇 medal and is crowned World Champion 2022! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FigureSkating?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FigureSkating</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldFigure?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WorldFigure</a> <a href=”https://t.co/BCVZmsvXlM”>pic.twitter.com/BCVZmsvXlM</a>
Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx finished a distant second in the free skate (142.70) and overall (217.70). The gap between Sakamoto in first place and Hendrickx in second place was greater than the distance between Hendrickx and You Young in fifth place (204.91).
Sakamoto is the sixth Japanese woman to win the women’s gold at the ISU World Championships. She is the first woman from the country to do since Mao Asada in 2014.
Hendrickx’s second-place finish is an even more impressive achievement considering she has been dealing with a groin injury. This marks her first major medal in competition. The Belgian skater finished eighth overall in Beijing four years after finishing 16th in her first appearance at the Winter Olympics.
Taking home the bronze medal was rising U.S. star Alysa Liu. The 16-year-old made her Olympic debut last month, finishing seventh overall in the women’s competition.
Liu was fifth in the standings after the short program, but she posted the third-highest score in the free skate to win her first medal in a major event since the 2020 Junior World Championships.
NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics
16-year-old Alysa Liu gave a spectacular performance at <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldFigure?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WorldFigure</a> en route to winning BRONZE! 🥉 <a href=”https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@USFigureSkating</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TeamUSA</a> <a href=”https://t.co/6TyqHfbWpi”>pic.twitter.com/6TyqHfbWpi</a>
Looking ahead to Saturday, the final two events on the schedule are the men’s free skate and the free dance portion of the ice dance competition. The top 20 teams from today’s rhythm dance advance to the free dance.
Japan holds the top three spots in the men’s standings after the short program. Shoma Uno leads the way with a score of 109.63. Yuma Kagiyama is in second place (105.63) followed by Kazuki Tomono (101.12).