Sixth place finish at World Championships for Scottish ice dancer Lewis Gibson and partner Lilah Fear

Lewis Gibson and Lilah Fear skated an outstanding performance to move up to sixth place at the World Figure Skating Championships – as the French team beat their own world record in the home country to scoop their fifth world title.

Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson from Prestwick.
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson from Prestwick.

The couple scored 119.28 in the free dance - a season’s best – making an overall personal best score of 198.17.

The competition was won by Winter Olympic gold medallists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron from France, who broke their own world record in the free dance with 137.9 to scoop the world championship title for the fifth time. They had already broken their own world record in the rhythm dance earlier this week, scoring 92.73 and the overall world record for their combined score of 229.82.

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Sasha Fear – Fear’s younger sister – and partner George Waddell, who also skate for Great Britain, finished in 19th place with 93.36 in the free dance.

Gibson, from Ayr, said the pair committed to skating until at least after the next Winter Olympics.

He said they would continue to create crowd pleasing programmes, which in the past three years, have included disco, Madonna and the Lion King – and committed to taking part in the next Winter Olympic Games.

Gibson said: “We will definitely commit to four more seasons – at least. We want to have fun [with our programmes] and tell a story.”

Fear said the past season, which included the Beijing Winter Olympics, where they finished 10th, had been “the most informative season of our lives” and that the Games had been “the most pressure we've ever experienced”.

She added: “We chose two programmes that would really push us as athletes and performers and skaters. And obviously with that goal, it's not going to come straight away or easily, so it took time – definitely took until the second half of the season, at least. I'm just really proud of the performances that we've had here [at Worlds]. And I love both programmes, and I'll be sad to say goodbye.”

After the World Championships in Montpellier, France, Gibson – who with Fear, trains in Canada at the Ice Academy of Montreal - will return to Scotland for the first time since the pandemic, where he will coach an ice camp in Ayr.

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He said: “I am so excited. I haven’t been home to Scotland since December 2019, I can’t wait.”

US couple Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue came in second, while teammate Madison Chock and Evan Bates were third.

Russian pair Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are the only couple to have beaten Papadakis and Cizeron since the 2018 Olympics. However, Sinitsina and Katsalapov, alongside Ivan Bukin and Alexandra Stepanova, are not taking part in this year’s championships due to a ban on Russian athletes.

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