Germany’s Aliona Savchenko, Robin Szolkowy win fifth pairs at worlds

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany compete in the pairs free program during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena on March 27 in Saitama, Japan. 

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

SAITAMA, Japan — Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy won the pairs event at the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday, claiming their fifth title in the event they have dominated since 2008.

Skating to music from "The Nutcracker," the defending champions from Germany were solid on all their elements and earned 224.88 points to beat Russia’s Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, who had 215.92 points.

"A fifth title is quite amazing," Szolkowy said. "We did and very good performance yesterday and were very good today."

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were third with 210.84 points, edging fellow Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch into fourth.

The women’s short program is also scheduled for Thursday. With defending champion Yuna Kim retired and Olympic gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia not taking part, Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy is the top-ranked skater in the competition.

Savchenko and Szolkowy, who won the Olympic bronze in 2010 and 2014, have been together since August of 2003 and will split up after the world championships.

"I can hardly believe it is over now. It feels very strange," Savchenko said. "To be honest, it felt like I was skating in an exhibition gala."