Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) claim gold

- Budapest, Hungary

The 2014 ISU European Figure Skating Championships concluded in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday with the Pairs Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala.

Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) claim gold

Tatiana Volosozbar/Maxim Trankov of Russia claimed their third consecutive European title and led the Russian pairs to a podium sweep. Teammates Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov took silver and Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov earned the bronze medal. The same three couples had swept the podium in 2012 at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships, but the silver and bronze medalists swapped places.

Volosozhar/Trankov’s program to “Jesus Christ Superstar” was highlighted by a triple twist, throw triple loop and level-four lifts and spins. However, Trankov fell on the triple toe while Volosozhar went down on the throw triple Salchow. The defending European Champions scored 136.40 points and accumulated 220.38 points overall. “We prepared like always, but this is the second competition we didn’t skate well. Our elements are ready, we skated very well in practice. Nobody understands what happened. We skated amazing in practice and our short program was very good but again we made stupid mistakes in the free skating. Hopefully we’ll skate at the Olympic Games as well as at the beginning of the season”, Trankov commented.

Stolbova/Klimov put out a strong performance to “Addams Family”, reeling off a triple twist, throw triple Lutz and Salchow, side by side triple toe-double toe-double toe combination and double Axel to win the Free Skating portion with a personal best of 137.08 points. Overall they accumulated 207.98 points and moved up from fourth to second. “We are happy we skated to plan and had success with almost all the elements. We enjoyed every moment of our program, indeed we like this program very much”, Stolbova commented. “It’s not the first time (that these three teams swept the podium), we did the same in Sheffield (in 2012). But then we were third, now second. It’s great progress”, she added.

Bazarova/Larionov produced a throw triple flip and loop, triple twist and difficult lifts, but she struggled with the solo jumps. The 2012 European silver medalists scored 129.91 points and slipped from second to third at 201.61 points overall. “Today we didn’t cope with all our elements. We made mistakes on the jumps at the beginning of the program. We wanted to skate as clean as we can skate in practice. But I can’t say that we were nervous. We were actually calm”, Bazarova said.

Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) finished fourth at 195.61 points. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) placed fifth (185.48 points) and Maylin Wende/Daniel Wende (GER) were sixth (168.32 points).

Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER), who stood in second place following the Short Program, withdrew after the morning practice citing illness. According to the medical bulletin Savchenko is suffering from a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

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