Ice skating: Gritshuk and Platov reign

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The Independent Online
Oksana Gritshuk and Evgeny Platov blended a spectacular interpretation of Arab culture with the special demands of ice dancing to win their fourth successive world title in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday.

The Russian couple, invincible since they captured the 1994 Olympic crown, gleaned two perfect scores of 6.0 for artistic merit as they again beat their team-mates, Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov, into second. They also had a 6.0 in their tango on Thursday to give them three for the week. They garnered 12 during the Europeans in January but perfect scores are harder to acquire at world level.

Tara Lipinski narrowly won the short program to raise her hopes of becoming the youngest women's world champion in history.

France's Vanessa Gusmeroli was second with Maria Butyrskaya, of Russia, third. The American defending champion, Michelle Kwan, was fourth after faltering in a combination jump.

"It felt great after having a bad short last year and being able to do a clean short this year gave me a lot of confidence," said Lipinski, who was 23rd after the short last year and was 15th after the free programme.

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