Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) dance off with gold

- Bratislava, Slovak Republic

The competition at the 2016 ISU European Figure Skating Championships concluded Saturday in Bratislava, Slovak Republic with the Free Dance. The Ondrej Nepela Arena was filled to capacity.

Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) dance off with gold

Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France danced off with the gold medal. Italy’s Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte took the silver medal and the bronze went to Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev of Russia.

Papadakis/Cizeron put out an excellent performance to “Rain In Your Black Eyes” that was highlighted by smooth step sequences and beautiful lifts. The World Champions collected a level four for the twizzles, the spin, the footwork as well as for two lifts, only the straight line lift was rated a level three. Papadakis/Cizeron scored 111.97 points and totaled 182.71 points to defend their European title. “I think it feels even more amazing than last year, because we proved that we can do it again. We managed to have a really great moment during the performance and the audience shared this program with us”, Cizeron said.

Cappellini/Lanotte’s lively dance named “La dolce vita” featured fast twizzles and steps as well as interesting lifts. The 2014 European and World Champions picked up a level four for four elements and a level three for three elements to earn 105.70 points. The Italians were ranked third in the Free Dance but with 178.01 points they repeated as silver medalists. “We feel like we pushed our performance further and we connected really well with the crowd. Our next goal are the Worlds Championships in Boston and hopefully we can fight for the gold medal”, Lanotte commented.

Bobrova/Soloviev completed difficult footwork and lifts in their emotional “Anna Karenina” dance, earning a level four for the lifts, twizzles, spin and diagonal footwork. With 107.79 points, the 2013 European Champions posted a new personal best score and were ranked second in the Free Dance. Overall they remained in third at 176.50 points. “We didn’t have a bronze yet from Europeans, only silver and gold. We’re very pleased to be here, but it wasn’t easy before the free dance, we were nervous. But we were able to pull ourselves together”, Soloviev shared.

Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) finished fourth in their debut as a team at the European Championships with 172.65 points followed by 2015 European bronze medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) with 165.55 points. 2014 European bronze medalists Penny Coomes/ Nicholas Buckland (GBR) came sixth (162.75 points).

Russia collected a total of seven medals including two gold in Ladies and Pairs at the Championships. France, Spain, Israel, Italy and Germany take home one medal each – France and Spain a gold, Israel, Italy and Germany a silver. Israel claimed is first medal at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships with Alexei Bychenko’s silver.

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2016 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.