Virtue and Moir reach new heights at figure skating worlds

Canadian ice dance icons Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir continued a torrid pace in their comeback season, breaking their own world-record score in the short dance at the world figure skating championships on Friday in Helsinki.

The duo lead the standings by a considerable margin — their score of 82.43 is more than five points clear of their closest competitors, reigning world champs Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France (76.89).

"That was a great skate. We worked hard, we prepared, but we felt the pressure today," Moir said. "We knew we had to bring our best, and that's why we came back."

Despite being unbeaten since their comeback, Moir said he and Virtue were feeling nervous ahead of Friday's skate.

"You're feeling the butterflies and you're trying to eat lunch and it won't go down. You get out and you're shaky, exhausted at the beginning of your program, but we're happy with the skate," he said.

His partner said that their skate was fueled by their artistic growth.

"It was a strong performance. Nice to end the season with a season's best for sure but it was just so much fun," Virtue said. "It's a really wonderful thing to be back at world championships.

"Technically we really try to raise the level of our skating and we needed to because the level of competition is so stiff and so strong. But also part of this comeback was to skate artistically in a way that we feel represents the place we are in right now as artists."

American duo Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue round out the top three with a score of 76.53.

Virtue and Moir weren't the only Canadians to post new personal bests on Friday — Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje are in sixth place with 74.84 points, while Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are in ninth with 72.83.

The ice dance competition will conclude with the free dance on Saturday at 9:35 a.m. ET.

CBCSports.ca is live streaming every short and free program at the world championships, right through the gala presentation on Sunday at 7 a.m. ET. Click here for the full schedule.