ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 - Day 1
The 2010 ISU European Figure Skating Championships opened in Tallinn, Estonia, on January 19 with the Compulsory Dance and the Pairs Short Program.
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.
Domnina/Shabalin grab solid lead in Compulsory Dance
Reigning World Champions Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin of Russia danced to the lead in the Tango Romantica Compulsory Dance, ahead of their teammates Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski and Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali of Italy. Domnina/Shabalin performed a characteristic Tango, showing off strong technique and expression to post a new personal best of 42.78 points (21.56 element score/21.22 program component score). “We are very happy that the audience appreciated our performance. We are satisfied with it, but not a 100 percent, maybe 90 percent”, Domnina said. “We looked into each other’s eyes and we showed true passion. The role of the strong, courageous man suits Maxim very well”, she continued. “For the first day, we can be very happy. We coped with our nerves and we skated well without any mistakes or wobbles”, Shabalin added.
Reigning European Champions Khokhlova/Novitski also gave a strong performance and scored 37.87 points (18.80/19.07), a new seasons best. They edged out European silver medalists Faiella/Scali by just 0.40 points. Faiella/Scali had 37.47. “We hope to repeat last year’s success, but we are not thinking too much about what was last year and what happened at the beginning of the season where we maybe didn’t get the results we wanted. This is a completely new step now and we are going into it with a clear head and refreshed mind”, commented Khokhlova. “It is a good start for this competition. We are very close with the marks (between the top teams). There was a little stumble in a corner,” Scali admitted.
Current European bronze medalists Sinead Kerr/John Kerr (GBR) and Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) are following closely in fourth and fifth at 36.76 and 36.36 points.
Savchenko/Szolkowy lead close Pairs competition
World Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy of Germany won the Pairs Short Program, but it was a tight battle between the top teams. Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov and Maria Mukhortova/ Maxim Trankov are trailing the leaders by less than one point.
Savchenko/Szolkowy performed flawlessly to “Send in the Clowns”. Their routine was highlighted by a side by side triple toe and a throw triple flip. The couple picked up 74.12 points (40.92 element score/33.20 program component score). “It was a very good performance today. We had fun to skate, we were relaxed and it was important to show this. However, some levels were not so high, the twist and the death spiral didn’t get the level that we expected and this can be the tenth of points that can make the difference”, Szolkowy told the press.
Kavaguti/Smirnov gave a strong performance to “The Swan”, hitting the triple toeloop and throw triple loop and got a level four on four elements to score a personal best of 73.92 points (41.44/32.48). “We are very happy with our performance today, we wanted to get better and better with every competition , and so we did. After the Russian Nationals we had a short break over new year (holidays), then we continued practice, in order to perform our elements and cleaner”, Kavaguti said.
Mukhortova/Trankov’s elegant routine to “Appassionata” by Secret Garden featured a side by side triple toeloop, a high triple twist and a very well synchronized side by side spin. They earned 73.54 points (41.02/32.52) and improved their personal best by almost four points. “It was our best short program of the season. All the emotions we show in our program are not studied or choreographed, they come from our hearts”, Mukhortova offered. “There was a lot of pressure and we were a little nervous as all the top teams before us had skated clean. Tomorrow in the free skating we’ll show our best skating”, added Trankov.
Tatiana Voloszohar/Stanislav Morozov (UKR) came in fourth with another clean program (67.60 points). Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) finished fifth (55.84 points). Both teams had a seasons best.
The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 continue Wednesday with the Men’s Short Program and the Pairs Free Skating.
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