NICE  - Canada's Patrick Chan successfully defended his men's figure skating title despite a fall during the free skate final at the world championships here on Saturday.

Daisuke Takahashi, the 2010 champion, took silver ahead of fellow Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu. The 21-year-old Chan became the first skater to defend his title since Swiss Stephane Lambiel in 2006.

Chan hit two quadruple and six triple jumps, including an opening quad-triple toeloop combination, but fell on a foot sequence during his free skate to Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez. But he was still ahead of his rivals finishing with 266.11 points to give him gold by 6.45 points on Takahashi, who skated cleanly to the music "Blues for Klook" by Eddy Louis and achieved 259.66.

Hanyu pulled out a superb free skate to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack to pull back from seventh after the short programme, despite an inexplicable fall during his circular step sequence. The 17-year-old had hit his opening quad toeloop jump followed by three more difficult triple jumps when he lost his footwork and fell to the ice before pulling himself together to hit five more triples.

Competing in his first worlds the skater from Sendai capped the routine with a Biellmann spin for personal best scores an overall total of 251.06 points.

Home hope Brian Joubert, the 2007 world champion, finished off the podium in fourth, with Czech skater Michal Brezina slipping to sixth from second after the short programme after an error-strewn free skate.