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Meryl Davis, Charlie White skate to an upset victory

February 6, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. won the ice dance title at the Four Continents figure skating championships Friday by edging their training partners, world silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, by .58.

In hockey parlance, you'd say Davis and White won in Virtue and Moir's barn. And since the site of this event is the Pacific Coliseum, the former home of the Vancouver Canucks, the hockey analogy is especially appropriate.

Davis and White, who won the U.S. title two weeks ago and will compete at next month's world championships at Staples Center, performed an emotional free dance to "Samson and Delilah" to earn a season-best 96.74 points. Their overall total was 192.39. Virtue and Moir, who train with Davis and White in Canton, Mich., earned 94.51 points for their dance to Pink Floyd music and 191.81 points for the three-part competition.

It's a near-miracle that Virtue and Moir were able to perform at all. Virtue underwent surgery on both shins in October to relieve chronic pain, and as soon the couple had finished, she went to the medical office to ice her legs.

Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates of the U.S. were third with 180.79 points, and they savored their experience in the rink that will serve as the Olympic figure skating venue just over a year from now.

"We definitely want to be back here in 12 months," Bates said.

More news from the rink later at latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Meryl Davis and Charlie White perform their free dance program at the Four Continents figure skating championships on Friday in Vancouver, B.C. Credit: Paul Chiasson/ The Canadian Press / Associated Press

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