Javier Fernandez (ESP) strikes gold, repeats as champion

- Budapest, Hungary

The 2014 ISU European Figure Skating Championships continued in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday with Men’s Free Skating.

Javier Fernandez (ESP) strikes gold, repeats as champion

Javier Fernandez of Spain struck gold and retained his European title. Russia’s Sergei Voronov claimed the silver medal and teammate Konstantin Menshov soared from 11th to capture the bronze medal.

Skating to “Peter Gunn”, Fernandez went for three quads, but stepped out of the quad toe and the second quad Salchow. He nailed a quad Salchow (but underrotated the triple toe in this combo), a triple Axel and four more triple jumps. The spins were graded a level four. Fernandez achieved a seasons best of 175.55 points and racked up 267.11 points. “It was a hard day because I knew the other skaters were doing good and coming after me. I did my job. I did my program and I did everything I could do”, Fernandez said.

Voronov’s Tango program to “A los amigos”, “Por una cabeza” and “Tanguera” featured two quadruple toeloops (the second one was shaky) as well as six triple jumps including two Axels and two level-four spins. The Muscovite improved his personal best by more than 20 points with 167.04 points which added up to 252.55 points overall. “I was trying not to think about what could be. I went out and tried to do what my coach said and tried to do a good job. Probably I did that and from this the good result came, my best result so far”, the 26-old-commented.

Menshov, at age 30 the oldest man in the field, completed a quad-triple toe, a solo quad toe, two triple Axels and three more triples as well as two level-four spins in his routine set to music by Rene Aubry. The skater from St. Petersburg posted a new personal best of 165.12 points and totaled 237.24 points. “I continued, because I came to practice and felt that I am strong and that I can do a second quad, and put it into the program. I don’t feel 30 years old. I still have the will to fight and to show that people see that I can do this not only in practice, but also that judges and spectators see that I can skate well and perform difficult elements”, Menshov noted.

Michal Brezina (CZE) was edged out by just 0.26 points of the bronze medal and came fourth at 236.98 points. Maxim Kovtun (RUS) slipped from fourth to fifth (232.37 points) and Peter Liebers (GER) moved up two spots to finish sixth with 225.76 points.

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2014 conclude Sunday with the Pairs Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala. For more information and full results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.efsc2014.com.

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