French veterans Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder had years' efforts paid on Friday when they claimed their first ice dancing gold at the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
France's Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder perform during the ice dancing original dance programme at the World Figure Skating Championships in Gothenburg March 20, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The six-time French national champions, who have been skating together for the past 18 years, had never even made it to the podium at worlds before.
"It's incredible to win the title and to be on the podium for the first time," said 29-year-old Delobel.
Although they won the 2007 European title, the pair have been more used to just missing out, finishing fourth at the 2006 Winters Olympics and at worlds in 2005 and 2007.
But this time, they made no mistake, leading the compulsory and original dance sections earlier in the week, before sealing victory with an original routine.
Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took silver with Russia's Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski achieving bronze after the free dance final.
Although the Canadians won the free dance section, the French had built up enough of a margin, scoring 212.94 points overall with the Canadians achieving 208.80 and the Russians 203.26.
China's Li Chengjiang performs during the men's short programme at the World Figure Skating Championships in Gothenburg March 21, 2008.