Savchenko and Szolkowy capture fifth pairs world title

Saitama, Japan ( - Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany captured their fifth pairs title at the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday.

Savchenko and Szolkowy were coming off a second Olympic bronze medal last month in Sochi and earned world gold for the first time since 2012. The duo also captured the world title in 2008, '09 and '11, and will retire after this event.

After winning the short program, Savchenko and Szolkowy also won the free skate and finished with a total score of 224.88 points to easily outdistance Russians Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov by nearly nine points. Stolbova and Klimov were third after the short program.

Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were second after the short program, but had only the fourth-best free skate and took the bronze medal, just ahead of countrymates Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.

The top United States duo of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir finished 11th, while Americans Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay placed 14th.

Olympic champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia did not defend their world title from last year.