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28 Mar, 2009 08:02

Domnina and Shabalin dance to world championship gold

Domnina and Shabalin dance to world championship gold

The Russian pair of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin has won the gold medal in the ice dance at the World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles.

They topped the overall standings with 206.30 points – 1.22 points ahead of runners-up Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, while Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from Canada collected the bronze.

It was the first gold for Russia in four years in this event, and the first World Championship medal for Domnina and Shabalin.

"This [the gold medal] probably means very, very much but right now I am not feeling anything. We reached a goal we have been living for and strived to achieve for many years," Shabalin said at the press-conference.

The duo has been hampered by injuries in recent years. They missed the 2008 World Championships because of Shabalin's knee surgery.

The pair returned to the ice just seven months before the World Championships, which they finished on high note with a performance of ‘Spartacus’ by composer Aram Khatchaturian at the free skate on Friday.

Domnina and Shabalin entered the free skate with a 0.64 points lead over second place Belbin and Agoso, and managed to increase their advantage.

Another Russian pair – Yana Khokhlova and Denis Novitsky – finished 6th, claiming 193.41 points.