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Maia, Alex Shibutani win long-awaited first U.S. ice dance title

Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani celebrate after learning they won the dance championship of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in St. Paul, Minn. Woman at left is unidentified. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. crowned new champions in ice dance Saturday, with siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani winning their first national title.

The Shibutanis overtook defending champs Madison Chock and Evan Bates with a rousing free dance. They trailed by .47 points after the short dance but earned a standing ovation for their program Saturday to “Fix You” by Coldplay. They received 115.47 points for 190.14 total.

Chock and Bates had 111.79 points for their free dance for a total of 186.93. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue were third for the second straight year.

The Shibutanis won a World bronze medal in 2011 but had been unable to match that level of result since.

“It’s all been building to this point,” Alex said.

It has been a trying season for Chock and Bates, the 2015 World silver medalists, who have repeatedly changed their programs to try to contend in the biggest international competitions.

MORE FIGURE SKATING: New U.S. pairs champions