Figure Skating
Skater Bios
 Wednesday, March 29
Petrova and Tikhonov take the pairs title
Associated Press

  NICE, France -- Russians Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov took advantage of the absence of the world champions to win the pairs event Wednesday at the World Figure Skating Championship.

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China, who led after the short program, finished second. French skaters Sarah Abitbol and Stephane Bernadis were third.
Petrova & Tikhonov
Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov won their first world championship.

Bernadis skated with a bandage on his left arm over a cut that he said was inflicted by a man who slashed him at his hotel room Tuesday.

Petrova and Tikhonov succeeded Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, who had to withdraw Sunday. Berezhnaya was informed that she failed a drug test for a prohibited stimulant. She said she had taken it in a medication for bronchitis.

It was the second time that Petrova and Tikhonov won in the place of Berezhanya and Sikharulidze. In 1999, Petrova and Tikhonov took the European title when Berezhnaya had the flu.

Hughes, Nikodinov taking advantage of situation

Slutskaya beats Kwan in qualifying

Police to question Bernadis

 Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov win pairs world championship
RealVideo: 56.6

 Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo replay
RealVideo: 56.6

 Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman short program at Worlds
RealVideo: 56.6