The ice dancing portion of the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships, featuring 30 of the world's most talented couplesin the discipline, kicked off March 30 in Boston with the short program round of the competition. It proved an exciting day for the home crowd, as the results sawnot just one but two American pairs finish in good position to win coveted podium placementswhen the event concludeson March 31.

2016 World Figure Skating Championships ice dancing results: After the short

Reigning world ice dancing champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France took thefirst step toward defending their 2015 title by winning the short dance with a mark of 76.29.

They lead super siblings and 2016 US National Champions Maia and Alex Shibutani (74.70) by less than two points, while the Shibutanis' 2014 Olympic teammates, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, sit in bronze medal territory. Chock and Bates, in turn, hold a narrow lead over the current fourth place team, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (71.83) of Canada. The other American couplein the mix, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, placed seventh (68.44).

Shib Sibs podium-bound?

The 2015-16 skating season has proven a breakout one for Maia and Alex Shibutani, who placed first and second at their Grand Prix assignments to earn an invitation to compete at the prestigious Grand Prix Final, where they finished just off the podium in fourth.

They entered worlds on a hot streak after winning gold at both US nationals and the Four Continents Championships in Taipei, Taiwan.

Their last --and only-- world medal to date came in 2011, when they earned the bronze behind the then-dominant duos Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the US, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.

Given the strength and popularity of their "Fix You" free dance, they're in excellent position to walk away with asecond medal.

The top 10 couples

The top 10 teams following the short dance are as follows:

  • 1. Papadakis and Cizeron, France, 76.29
  • 2. Shibutani and Shibutani, USA, 74.70
  • 3. Chock and Bates, USA, 72.46
  • 4. Weaver and Poje, Canada, 71.83
  • 5. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Canada, 70.70
  • 6. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, Italy, 70.65
  • 7. Hubbell and Donohue, USA, 68.44
  • 8. Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland, Great Britain, 68.23
  • 9. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, Russia, 67.68
  • 10. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, Italy, 65.96

The ice dancing event at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships will come to a close March 31 as the couples skate for medals.

The free skate round will begin at 7:30 PM Eastern time inBoston.

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