ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 Preview
177 skaters/couples from 38 ISU members have been entered for the Championships.
The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 will open in Tallinn, Estonia, on January 19. Estonia is hosting an ISU Championship for the first time in history. 177 skaters/couples from 38 ISU members have been entered for the Championships. All skaters/couples will compete in the Short Program/Compulsory Dance and Original Dance, and the top 20 Men and Ladies and the top 16 Pairs/Ice Dance couples will proceed to the Free Skating.
Overview over the top contenders
Reigning European Champion Brian Joubert (FRA) will face stiff competition from Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) and two-time World Champion Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) who both returned to competition this season. Joubert posted a seasons best of 232.70 points at the NHK Trophy, while Plushenko scored 240.65 at the Rostelecom Cup in the Grand Prix series. Lambiel didn’t compete in the Grand Prix but only at the ISU Olympic Qualifying Competition Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf last September. 2008 European Champion Tomas Verner (CZE) would like to step on to the European podium again (seasons best 229.96 points). Reigning European silver medallist Samuel Contesti (ITA/seasons best 207.85) as well as two-time and reigning European bronze medallist Kevin van der Perren (BEL/ seasons best 189.33 points) are in the running again. Yannick Ponsero (FRA) was edged out of a medal last year by a slim margin and wants to take his revenge (seasons best 205.74 points). Sergei Voronov (RUS/seasons best 220.39), World junior silver medallist Michal Brezina (CZE/seasons best 217.48) and Alban Préaubert (FRA/seasons best 212.28) are other contenders. 2005 European bronze medallist Stefan Lindeman (GER) makes his comeback after missing the past two seasons.
In the Ladies event, reigning European Champion Laura Lepistö (FIN) will be challenged by a group of strong competitors. Lepistö comes with a seasons best of 158.52 points to Tallinn. Her teammate, 2007 European bronze medallist Kiira Korpi (FIN) posted 163.27 points, which is the highest seasons best score of an European Lady in the Grand Prix series. Two-time European Champion and reigning European silver medallist Carolina Kostner (ITA/seasons best 154.18) is looking to recapture the title. Two-time European silver medallist Sarah Meier (SUI) wants to stand on the top of the podium this time. Russia’s hopes rely on 2009 World Junior Champion Alena Leonova (seasons best 160.85) and the new Russian Champion Ksenia Makarova (seasons best 147.29), who debuts at the international senior level. Former European Champion Julia Sebestyen (HUN/seasons best 159.03) celebrated a comeback by winning the bronze medal at Cancer.Net Skate America last fall. Other skaters to watch include reigning European bronze medallist Susanna Pöykiö (FIN) and new Italian Champion Valentina Marchei.
Two-time World Pairs Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) are aiming at their fourth consecutive European title in Tallinn. The Germans were once again the top European pair on the Grand Prix circuit and won the bronze medal in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. They earned a seasons best of 206.71 points at HomeSense Skate Canada International. Current World bronze medallists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) and their teammates Maria Mukhortova/Maxim Trankov (RUS) want to challenge the Germans. The Russian couples took silver and bronze last year. Kavaguti/Smirnov have a seasons best of 193.05 points while Mukhortova/Trankov got 198.35 points at the Trophée Bompard, where they beat Savchenko/Szolkowy for the first time. After finishing fourth in the past two years at the ISU European Championships, Tatiana Volosozhar/Stanislav Morozov (UKR) finally want to make the podium this time (seasons best 171.82). 2007 World Junior silver medallists Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov (RUS/seasons best 156.28 points) are debuting at European Championships.
The Ice Dance competition promises to become an exciting battle. Reigning World Champions Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin (RUS) are coming back to international competition only now as they sat out the Grand Prix series. They will face their teammates and reigning European Champions Jana Khokhlova/ Sergei Novitski (RUS), who will present a brand-new Free Dance (seasons best 180.57 points). Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) missed the podium last year just narrowly and have the highest sesaons best score of any European dance couple at 185.07. The bronze medal at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final gives the French additional confidence. Reigning European silver medallists Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali (ITA/seasons best 179.92) and European bronze medallists Sinead Kerr/John Kerr (GBR/seasons best 177.73) want to be on the podium again. Other couples to watch include Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA/seasons best 171.86 points), Alexandra Zaretsky/Roman Zaretsky (ISR/seasons best 171.77), Nora Hoffmann/Maxim Zavozin (HUN), Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS/seasons best 161.68) and Anna Zadarozhniuk/Sergei Verbillo (UKR/seasons best 158.09).
Please note that for the seasonal best total scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior) have been taken into consideration, not other international competitions or National Championships.
Prize money and World standing bonus
The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 350,000 at the European Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 12th.
The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Men and Ladies Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 20,000 1st place US$ 30,000
2nd place US$ 13,000 2nd place US$ 19,500
3rd place US$ 8,000 3rd place US$ 12,000
4th place US$ 6,500 4th place US$ 9,750
5th place US$ 5,000 5th place US$ 7,500
6th place US$ 4,000 6th place US$ 6,000
7th place US$ 3,500 7th place US$ 5,250
8th place US$ 3,000 8th place US$ 4,500
9th place US$ 2,500 9th place US$ 3,750
10th place US$ 2,000 10th place US$ 3,000
11th place US$ 1,500 1th place US$ 2,250
12th place US$ 1,000 12th place US$ 1,500
By competing in the ISU European Figure Skating Championships the athletes earn points towards the World Standings as well. The three skaters/couples per discipline having earned most World Standing points during the 2009/2010 season will be awarded with the World Standing Bonus.
The following amounts will be awarded to the concerned skaters/couples:
Ladies & Men Pairs & Dance (per couple)
1st: US$ 45,000 1st: US$ 67,500
2nd: US$ 27,000 2nd: US$ 40,500
3rd: US$ 18,000 3rd: US$ 27,000
The schedule of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2007 is as follows:
Tuesday, January 19: Compulsory Dance, Pairs Short Program
Wednesday, January 20: Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Thursday, January 21: Original Dance, Men Free Skating
Friday, January 22: Ladies Short Program, Free Dance
Saturday, January 23: Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, November 24: Exhibition Gala
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Name: Devra Pitt
Organization: ISU Communications
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