By Steve Keating
LONDON, Ontario March 15 (Reuters) - Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the pairs gold at the world figure skating championships on Friday, putting Russia back on top of an event they once dominated.
The timing of their triumph could not have been better as Volosozhar and Trankov signaled they will be contenders on home ice at next year's Sochi Olympics with an elegant and daring free skate that earned them a runaway victory total of 225.71.
"It means we can fight for the gold in Sochi and give back to Russia Olympic gold," said Trankov, when asked what the win meant.
Russians won 12 consecutive pairs Olympic golds from 1964 through 2006 but were shut out of the medals completely at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Volosozhar and Trankov ended the two-year world championship reign of Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who sat third after Wednesday's short skate but could not battle all the way back settling for silver on 205.56.
Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford gave the home crowd a reason to cheer by claiming their first world championship medal by taking bronze with 204.56. (Editing by Frank Pingue)