GANGNEUNG – Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke their own world record in the short dance, and have the top of the podium in sight at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The three-time world champions and partners for two decades scored 83.67 points in Monday’s short dance to “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Hotel California,” and “Oye Como Va,” to sit first.
The score topped their own previous world mark of 82.68 set at Skate Canada International in October. French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron scored 81.93 for second.
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Virtue, a 28-year-old from London, Ont., and the 30-year-old Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010. They lost lost to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White four years later in Sochi, and then took two seasons off, returning in hopes of reclaiming gold.
Virtue and Moir, who will retire after Pyeongchang, were undefeated in their return until losing to Papadakis and Cizeron in the Grand Prix Final in December.
A large contingent of Canadian athletes, including moguls gold medallist Mikael Kingsbury, were at Gangneung Ice Arena to cheer on Virtue and Moir.
The free dance is Tuesday.
Canada’s other duos also qualified for the free dance, with Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver sitting eighth with 74.33 points and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer earning 69.60 for ninth.