This past week, the National Championships continued in several countries in Europe and more skaters confirmed their spots for the upcoming ISU European Championships and in some cases for the Olympic Games. Most ISU members decide their teams for the ISU Championships and the Olympic Winter Games based on the results from the National Championships and also international events such as the ISU Grand Prix and ISU Challenger Series.
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Internationaux de France 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Four-time ISU World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron reigned once more supreme at the French Nationals in Cergy and danced to their seventh title. Kevin Aymoz came from second in the Short Program to score a runaway victory over Adam Siao Him Fa, and both are expected to be nominated for the Olympic team. Lea Serna is the Women’s Champion while Camille and Pavel Kovalev won the Pairs competition, but there are no Olympic quota places in these disciplines. Full results French Nationals.
Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz (ESP) compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Skate Canada 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
All eyes were on the Ice Dance event in Spain, where Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin and Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz were very close in the race for one Olympic spot. Smart/Diaz celebrated a confident victory with eight points to spare and are now ahead of their rivals going into the ISU European Championships where both couples compete again. The top Pair Laura Barquero/Marco Zandron did not participate as he is recovering from a shoulder injury, but have been selected for Beijing. Marian Millares and Tomas Llorenc Guarino won in the Women’s and Men’s, but there are no spots for the Olympic Games qualified this time. Full results Spanish Nationals.
Jenni Saarinen (FIN) competes at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships Stockholm 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
In Finland, Juulia Turkkila/Matthias Versluis secured their second national Ice Dance title and will head to Tallinn and Beijing. In the Women’s Jenni Saarinen struck gold and leads in the national qualifying for the quota place at the Olympic Games ahead of Emmi Peltonen, who placed third at Nationals. Both skaters have been selected for the ISU European Championships, where Finland has two spots for women. Valtter Virtanen claimed his sixth Men’s title, but there are no spots for the Men in Beijing. Full results Finnish Nationals.
Eliska Brezinova (CZE) competes at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships Stockholm 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary returned to their tradition to hold their Nationals together, this time in Spisska Nova Ves (SVK). A year ago, Hungary had organized their championship separately due to the pandemic. Matyas Belohradsky placed first and is the Czech Champion while Vladimir Samoilov in third is the Polish Champion. Ekaterina Kurakova (POL) dominated the women’s event while Eliska Brezinova (CZE) was second and defended her national title. Julia Lang (3rd) took the Hungarian title. Ioulia Chtchetinina/Mark Magyar (HUN) celebrated a clear victory in the Pairs event. In the Ice Dance, Natalia Kaliszek/Maksym Spodyriev (POL) danced off with gold and the title, edging Natalie Taschlerova/Filip Taschler (CZE) by just two points. Michal Brezina did not participate, but has been already confirmed for the Czech Olympic team like his sister Eliska, Taschlerova/Taschler and Pair Skaters Elizaveta Zhuk/Martin Bidar, who did not compete either. Full results Four Nationals Championships.
The next two major National Championships are coming up over Christmas with Russian Nationals in St. Petersburg and Japanese Nationals in Saitama, which both promise to be very exciting events.