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Madison Chock, Evan Bates lead after world championships rhythm dance

Madison Chock and Evan Bates lead after the rhythm dance at the world figure skating championships, eyeing a repeat title and to complete an undefeated season.

The Americans tallied 90.08 points, the best score in the world this season, on Friday in Montreal.

They take a 2.56-point lead over Italians Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri into Saturday’s free dance (1:30 p.m. ET, Peacock).

“We certainly had the most fun we’ve had skating this program all season, and that I think is a huge testament to the audience,” said Chock, who with Bates has trained in Montreal for the last six years.

FIGURE SKATING WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Chock, 31, and Bates, 35, are already the oldest couple to win a world title in ice dance, doing so last year for the first time in their 12th season together.

They went into these worlds with the world’s best total score this season from winning December’s Grand Prix Final for the first time.

They have won every major ice dance competition except the Olympics, where their best finish was fourth in 2022. They are Olympic champions in the team event from 2022.

This could be the last competition of their career. They plan to get married in June and have been reassessing their future in the sport on a season-by-season basis.

Worlds continue later Friday with the women’s free skate, live starting at 6 p.m. ET on Peacock and 8 p.m. on USA Network, and the NBC Sports app.

Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama and Ilia Malinin all delivered clean short programs at the world figure skating championships.