Minsk, Belarus

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EFSC Ladies Podium 2019(C)International Skating Union (ISU) 1088558708

Alina Zagitova (RUS), Sofia Samodurova ((RUS) and Viveca Lindfors (FIN) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

Russian newcomer Sofia Samodurova stormed to gold in her debut as the Ladies event concluded Friday at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk (BLR). Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova of Russia slipped to second place to claim the silver while Finland’s Viveca Lindfors rose from fourth to take the bronze.

Samodurova skated right after Zagitova and remained focused while the flower girls cleared the ice from numerous flowers and gifts. Skating to the upbeat “Burlesque” soundtrack, the ISU Grand Prix Finalist hit a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, triple Lutz, loop, double Axel-triple toe as well as two more triples and completed level-four spins and footwork. The 16-year-old posted a new season’s best with 140.96 points and totaled 213.84 points. “I am overwhelmed by emotions now, I can’t find words to describe what I am feeling now. I am European Champion and that’s so awesome. My coach told me to stop crying, but I can’t, these are just my sincere emotions,” the skater from St. Petersburg said. “This is my first senior championship and I am very happy that I was able to show such a result. However, I could have skated better in the second half of my program and I could have been more emotional and bright in some places,” she added.

Sofia Samodurova (RUS) EFSC 2019(C)International Skating Union (ISU) 1088549638

Sofia Samodurova (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

Zagitova opened her “Carmen” program with a double Axel, but then ran into trouble when she fell on the back end of her triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination. The 2018 European Champion recovered to land a triple Salchow, double Axel, but she made errors on three more jumps. Zagitova picked up level fours for two spins and the footwork. With 123.34 points, she was ranked fourth in the Free Skating and slipped to second overall on 198.34 points. “It is good that I am in the top three and the silver medal is also good. I could have been left without anything,” the 16-year-old said. “I want to thank all fans for their support and I want to apologize to them for my unsuccessful performance.”

Alina Zagitova (RUS) EFSC 2019(C)International Skating Union (ISU) 1088549470

Alina Zagitova (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

Performing to “Les Miserables”, Lindfors produced four clean triples including a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination as well as difficult spins and steps to score 128.79 points. With a total score of 194.40 points, she pulled up one spot to claim the first medal for Finland in seven years. “It’s a big personal victory for me, since figure skating has taken such a big step forward since our last medal. I feel very accomplished to have been able to reach the top three in the European Championships,“ the Finnish Champion shared.

Viveca Lindfors (FIN)EFSC2019(c)International Skating Union (ISU) 1088548830

Viveca Lindfors (FIN) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

Stanislava Konstantinova (RUS) rallied back from a subpar Short Program that had left her in 11th place. Her performance to “Anna Karenina” was highlighted by five clean triples. She finished second in the Free Skating and fourth overall on 189.72 points. Laurine Lecavelier (FRA) moved up from sixth to fifth on 180.05 points while Alexia Paganini dropped from third to sixth at 179.90 points.