27 January 2012


Friday ended the competition for the couples who skated the free dance. Russia didn't manage to double the result of the pairs podium, but placed two couples in second and third place, after the French chanmpions Pechalat/Bourzat. 


Reigning gold medalists Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat made it two titles in two years at the European Figure Skating Championships. 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. They 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.


Bobrova and Soloviev also had a strong free skate, but they could not match Pechalat and Bourzat either in the technical elements or in the program components. 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 won 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 and Luca 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”. Come on guys, next time you'll make it!

Source: ISU

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