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Robin Szolkowy proved that his 32-year-old legs were still capable of out-performing all his younger rivals as he and Aliona Savchenko captured their fourth world championship pairs title by the narrowest of margins on Friday.

Szolkowy, the oldest skater to compete in Nice, and Savchenko seemed rather pleased when then ended their free skate but were shocked to find they had beaten Russian rivals Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov by a slender 0.11 of a point.

Trankov would no doubt be ruing his "stupid fall" while performing the death spiral in Wednesday's short programme because had it not been for that blip, he and Volosozhar would have been celebrating their first world title. They earned a total of 201.38.

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The Russians entered Friday's programme trailing in eighth place but obliterated the opposition with a stirring free skate to the Black Swan soundtrack, eclipsing the Germans by a huge margin of 8.04 points.

While the top two results were a repeat from 12 months ago, Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran showed that Japan's success was not confined only to their single skaters as they claimed their first world medal with a total of 189.69.

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