Men Podium: (L-R) Dmitri Aliev (RUS), Javier Fernandez (ESP), Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
Javier Fernandez of Spain claimed his sixth consecutive European crown at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow Friday. Newcomer Dmitri Aliev of Russia stormed to the silver medal in what was his debut at the European Championships while Mikhail Kolyada, also from Russia, repeated as bronze medalist.
Javier Fernandez (ESP)
Performing to “Don Quixote”, Fernandez nailed a quad toe, quad Salchow-triple toe, two triple Axels and three more triples as well as two level-four spins and level-four footwork. However, he stumbled on his second quad Salchow and on a triple flip that was downgraded. The two-time World Champion achieved a new season’s best score with 191.73 points and racked up 295.55 points overall.
“It was a good program. We came here to train, because this is the last competition before the Olympic Games. I came here to improve and I got a season’s best, so we accomplished what we came here for,” Fernandez said. “(To win the sixth consecutive European title) It means a lot. It is always nice to make history in figure skating for Spain and it is nice to skate well and win another title,” he continued.
Aliev, who skated last out of the 24 Men in the final, produced a quad toe-triple toe, a quad toe, two triple Axels, a triple loop-single loop-triple Salchow combination as well as difficult spins and footwork in his routine to “To Build a Home” and “Little Miss Sunshine”. The only glitch came when he doubled a flip. The World Junior silver medalist set a new personal best of 182.73 points and totaled 274.06 points.
Dmitri Aliev (RUS)
“I’m happy with the technical side, it was almost perfect. The short program went ok but then I was nervous today. But for the first half of the program I kept control of myself, and then in the second half I felt confident and enjoyed it,” the 18-year-old commented. Even a missed morning practice didn’t stop Aliev. “There was some stress, because I wasn’t at the practice this morning. I had forgotten my skates in the hotel. It was a kind of force majeure, but I proved to myself that I can even without training show a good performance if I fight for it.”
Skating to Elvis Presley songs, Kolyada landed two triple Axels and four more triples, but he fell on the quad Lutz and quad toe. “Probably like last year, the result is not that bad, but I am not happy with my performance. I will take it as a lesson and take as an extra motivation to keep working further,” the ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist noted.
Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
Deniss Vasilijevs (LAT) turned in a strong performance that featured six clean triples, but he fell on a downgraded quad toe attempt and slipped to fourth at 258.90 points. 2016 European silver medalist Alexei Bychenko (ISR) pulled up from eighth to fifth place (238.44 points). Alexander Samarin (RUS) moved up three spots to finish sixth (229.81 points).
The ISU European Figure Skating Championships continue Saturday with the Free Dance and the Ladies Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see here and the official event website. Follow the discussion on social media using #EuroFigure.