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Madison Chock, Evan Bates repeat as world champions in closest ice dance in a decade

Madison Chock and Evan Bates repeated as world champions in ice dance to complete their first undefeated season in their 13th year together.

Chock, 31, and Bates, 35, tallied 222.20 points between Friday’s rhythm dance and Saturday’s free dance in Montreal, their training base since 2018.

They prevailed by 2.52 over Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, last year’s bronze medalists. It was the smallest ice dance margin of victory at worlds in a decade.

Italians Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri earned bronze, one year after taking silver.

FIGURE SKATING WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Chock and Bates’ five career world championships medals are a U.S. ice dance record.

Last year, they won their first world title — after three previous silver or bronze medals — and became the oldest couple to take gold.

Following a Stars on Ice tour last spring, they decided to continue competing for at least one more season.

It turned out to be their best yet. Chock and Bates won all five of their competitions, including their fifth U.S. title.

They went into this week with the world’s best total score this season by 2.6 points over Gilles and Poirier. That made them the clear favorites at worlds, but not overwhelming ones.

They won the rhythm dance with the world’s top score this season. Gilles and Poirier outscored them by 1.05 points in the free dance, but it wasn’t enough to make up their deficit from Friday.

Chock and Bates plan to get married in June. They haven’t announced whether they will compete next season.

“We have a lot to celebrate coming up and a lot to evaluate before we jump into another season, because it certainly does take a lot of work and a lot of our heart and a lot of things put on hold,” Chock said. “It isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but, also, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We’re going to re-evaluate and see how we feel at the end of the season and after our wedding.”

If they do continue, they can bid next January to tie the record of six U.S. ice dance titles held by their former training partners, the retired Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

They’re now tied with Davis and White at two world titles.

No other U.S. ice dancers have won a world championship, though at least one U.S. couple won a medal at 17 of the last 19 worlds.

The run began with Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto taking silver at the 2005 World Championships, the first of their four medals. That year, a 12-year-old Chock was sparked to start ice dance after watching Belbin and Agosto.

“Certainly, they inspired us — Tanith and Ben, followed by Meryl and Charlie,” Bates said. “When we trained in Michigan, they were our role models and our idols. Occasionally, we’d share the ice with them. I just remember being in awe of them. Being a teenager and getting to share the ice with your idols is something that is just the most motivating thing you could possibly imagine.”

Worlds conclude later Saturday with the men’s free skate starting at 6 p.m. ET on Peacock and 8 p.m. on NBC, and the NBC Sports app.

If Ilia Malinin jumps from third to win, it will mark the first year that the U.S. earns multiple golds since 1996 (Michelle Kwan, Todd Eldredge).