Tokyo (AFP) - Olympic silver medallists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the NHK Trophy ice-dance title on Sunday, bagging a world record score with their dazzling performance.
The duo skated to the crown with a combined 195.84 points, earning a standing ovation at the Makomanai Ice Arena in the northern Japan city of Sapporo.
The score eclipsed the previous record of 195.52, which brought gold to the American duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
It was "a huge task" for the Canadian dancers to compete against a field that included the French world champions, Virtue said.
"They inspired us every day... Luckily we're able to just focus on our job and compete like we trained," he said.
The world record marked a stunning return to competition for a couple who had been off the circuit since taking the silver medal at Sochi two years ago.
Moir said they had missed competing and the structure of training.
"We missed pushing ourselves, so we're so pleased to be in this position to make art and create material that we're proud of.
"We just can't wait to get home and build this programme even more," she said.
Virtue said the duo would try to keep up the momentum towards the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Two-time world and European champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France finished second, with Italian veterans Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte coming third.
The French ice dancers, we well as Canada's Moir and Virtue, qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France, on December 8-11.
In the men's competition, Japan's reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu retained his NHK Trophy title on Saturday, moving into high gear as he aims for a record fourth straight triumph in the Grand Prix Final.
In the women's competition, World bronze medallist Anna Pogorilaya of Russia won the trophy, while two-time and reigning world champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada triumphed in the pairs component.
The NHK Trophy is the last of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.