Aliona Savchenko (L) and Robin Szolkowy of Germany perform during the Pairs Free Skating portion in the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles, California, the United States, March 25, 2009. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy claimed the title with 203.48 points in total.[Xinhua/Qi Heng]
Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy clinched the pairs title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The defending champions dominated in a strong program that earned 203.48 points, out of reach for second-placed Chinese duo Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, who finished with 186.52.
It was the second straight silver medal for the Chinese team who finished ahead of Russian bronze medallists Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov, who had 186.39 points.
Frenchman Brian Joubert took the short program earlier in the day, taking a slim lead over Evan Lysacek heading into Thursday's free skate.
Joubert, the 2007 champion, rebounded from a minor miscue during his program to earn 84.40 points.
Canadian Patrick Chan lies third, followed by Tomas Verner and Takahiko Kozuka.
Silver medallists Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao of China (L), gold medallists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany (C) and bronze medallists Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia (R) show their medals after the awarding ceremony in the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles, California, the United States, March 25, 2009.[Xinhua/Qi Heng]
(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2009)