|Anna Cappellini (front) and Luca Lanotte of Italy compete during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan, March 28, 2014. (Xinhua/Stringer)
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SAITAMA, Japan, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Italian couple Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte on Friday led the short dance in the ice dance event of the International Skating Union's (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships held in Saitama, Japan.
With a perfect performance, the Italian pair, also the 2014 European champions, gained 69.70 points and were followed by Canadian dancers Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje with 69.20 points.
ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalists, Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat of France ranked third with a score of 68.20 points.
Madison Chock/Evan Bates from the United States ranked after the French with 67.71 points, while Russia's Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov, Olympic bronze medalists, scored 65.67 and ranked fifth.
Russia pair Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev, 2013 world bronze medalists, withdrew from the event as Soloviev sustained a groin injury in the morning practice.
The title of the ice dance event will be decided on Saturday after contests of free dance.