The 2012 ISU European Figure Skating Championships continued in the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, Great Britain, on Friday with the Ladies Short Program and the Free Dance.

Carolina Kostner (ITA) leads Ladies after Short Program

Carolina Kostner of Italy skated to the lead in the Ladies Short Program ahead of Finland's Kiira Korpi and Ksenia Makarova of Russia.

Performing to an Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich, Kostner landed a triple toe-triple toe combination, a triple loop and double Axel. She picked up a level four for the flying camel spin and scored 63.22 points.

I was a little nervous when I approached the ice rink and saw the people. But then I thought, this is the 10th time I'm doing this, just enjoy it because you don't know if next year you'll still be here. It helped me a lot to calm down, to just do what I do in practice, so I'm very pleased about how I did, the three-time European Champion commented.

Korpi's program to Somewhere Over the Rainbow featured a triple toe-triple toe combination, a double Axel and two level-four spins, but the triple loop was underrotated. The two-time and reigning European bronze medalist posted a new seasons best with 61.80 points. I feel good, it was absolutely the best for me this season. I'm so happy that I did it today although I felt quite nervous. I have had a rough season. I had some injuries in the beginning of the season and also the preparation for this competition wasn't ideal, so I wanted to come here and not think about any placements but just to do my best performance and try to enjoy the competition, Korpi told the press.

Makarova two-footed her triple toe-triple toe combination but hit the triple loop and double Axel to earn 57.55 points. I'm content with my program. I came out to skate a clean and very confident program, which I did. It's hard to explain how I felt, but I knew when I was coming out I had to do what I do every single day in practice, just do it well, the 19-year-old said.

Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO) turned in a solid short program and sits in fourth within striking distance of the podium at 57.14 points. Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) came fifth at 55.68 points and Alena Leonova (RUS) finished sixth with 54.50 points.

Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) dance to second European title

Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat of France took their second European title and Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev repeated as silver medalists. Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia captured the bronze medal.

Pechalat/Bourzat put out a fast paced Egyptian themed dance titled The Pharao and His Mummy that was highlighted by strong lifts and smooth footwork. The Grand Prix Final bronze medalists earned a level four for the lifts and the spin while the circular steps and twizzles were a level three. Pechalat/Bourzat won the Free Dance with 99.29 points and moved up from second to first at 164.18 points.

We're pretty happy at this moment. After the hard beginning with the short dance we just had to go on the ice and fight. We were the reigning European champions and there is no way we would let go of this. We trained to get more relaxed on the ice and we went out with anger and determination, Bourzat said. It is easier to attack than to defend, added Pechalat. It was very important for us to win, also when thinking of Worlds where we want to take a medal, she continued.

Dancing to Walpurgisnight, Bobrova/Soloviev completed level-four lifts, but got a level two for the twizzles and footwork. We skated well overall technically and emotionally. Unfortunately, I made a stupid error, in the twizzle series I didn't grab my leg. It happens, Soloviev commented. We didn't feel pressure after being in the lead. We just wanted to skate as well as we could, technically and emotionally. The second place is also very good, he added. For me personally it was our best performance of the season. It wasn't easy to skate. It put a little pressure on us that we stood in first place, although it was nice. I enjoyed skating today, Bobrova noted.

Ilinykh/Katsalapov produced strong lifts and footwork in their powerful Free Dance to Ave Maria, collecting a level four for six out of eight elements. They posted a new seasons best with 93.63 points and vaulted from seventh to third at 153.12 points to win their first medal at the European Championships. We went out in a fighting mood, ready to give it all we have. We knew we had a chance (to medal) and tried to concentrate on us and on the feeling between us, Katsalapov said. We are very happy with our experience today. It is a great feeling. After we were seventh in the short dance we had nothing to lose, Ilinykh explained.

Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) were edged out of the podium by just 0.03 points, finishing fourth with 153.09 points. They gave a strong performance to La Strada. Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko (RUS) produced a seasons best performance to The Snowstorm but slipped from third to fifth at 152.22 points. Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland (GBR) came sixth with an Elvis Presley Medley (145.31 points).

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 continue Saturday with the Ladies and Men's Free Skating