POSTED: Wednesday January 20th 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 - Day Two
The 2010 ISU European Figure Skating Championships continued in Tallinn, Estonia, on January 20 with the Men’s Short Program and the Pairs Free Skating.
Plushenko (RUS) takes Men’s Short with new personal best score
Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia took the Men’s Short Program and set a new record score on the way. France’s Brian Joubert and Yannick Ponsero are following in second and third in what was an exciting competition.
Plushenko, who skated first of the top contenders, nailed a quad-triple toeloop combination, a big triple Axel and a triple Lutz out of footwork to „Concierto de Aranjuez”. He showed also solid spins and footwork to post a new personal best of 91.30 points (51.10 element score/40.20 program component score). He beat his own record of 90.66 points that dates back to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. “I think it was the best performance of the season. I did the quad-triple, and that was really important. For some reason the quad wasn’t so consistent in practice here. I had a few inner doubts. The jumps are, after all, the most important thing in Men’s figure skating, in my opinion. But I told myself just to go out and do it, I pushed myself. Today I beat my personal best score, but I won’t be euphoric. Tomorrow is another whole day, an important day”, the five-time European Champion commented. Joubert skated last of the 37 men and landed a quad-double toeloop, a triple Axel, a triple Lutz and produced fast step sequences in his dynamic routine to “Rise” by Safri Duo to earn 88.55 points (47.80/40.75), a new personal best for the defending European Champion. “It wasn’t easy for me to skate last, especially after the kind of program that Evgeni Plushenko did. I felt the pressure and I was nervous”, Joubert admitted. “I’m a little disappointed because I did a quad-double toeloop combination instead of a quad-triple. This morning in practice I didn’t feel very good, but this was at the practice rink. I felt good during the six minutes warm up and the quad went really well. My program today reflects my training. I’ve worked on the footwork and the spins, and it paid off”, Joubert explained.
Ponsero’s elegant Spanished themed program to “La Corrida” included a quadruple-double toeloop combination, a triple Axel and triple Salchow. He posted a personal best of 82.40 points (46.00/36.40).
“I did a good job today. Now I have to stay focused for tomorrow. I plan to do one quad and a clean program”, Ponsero said.
Michal Brezina (CZE) sits in fourth after a clean program with 79.60 points. 2006 Olympic silver medalist Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) stumbled out on his quadruple toeloop to finish fifth at 77.75 points. Alban Préaubert (FRA) rounds up the top six (76.37 points).
Kavaguti/Smirnov (RUS) crowned European Pairs Champions
Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov of Russia skated to the gold medal in the Pairs event, upsetting reigning World Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy of Germany. Russia’s Maria Mukhortova/Maxim Trankov earned the bronze medal.
Performing to “Sentimental Waltz” and “On the Blue Danube”, Kavaguti/Smirnov opened with a high throw triple Salchow and a side by side triple toeloop, but she stepped out of the landing. The Russians didn’t let that error affect the rest of their dynamic performance, pulling off a triple twist, a double Axel-double Axel sequence and throw triple loop as well as difficult spins. The couple picked up 139.23 points (69.31 element score/69.92 program component score), and surpassed their previous personal best of 124.15 points by 15.08 points. They racked up 213.15 points. Kavaguti/Smirnov won their first major international title after taking silver at Europeans last year and the bronze in 2008. “We are so happy and satisfied with our performance. The audience gave us energy and we gave energy to the audience”, a radiant Kavaguti told the press. “This is very unexpected for us. I don’t have words right now. It’s just great”, Smirnov added.
Savchenko/Szolkowy nailed a strong triple toe-triple toe sequence, but errors on the next two elements were costly: she stumbled on the throw triple flip and doubled the side by side triple Salchow. The two-time and reigning World Champions continued their routine to “Out of Africa” without further errors. Nevertheless the overnight leaders slipped to second with a Free Skating score of 137.60 (66.88/70.72) and a total of 211.72 points. „Of course we are a little disappointed, but not too much. We came here to win and to skate clean. But we did some small mistakes. Except for the errors on the throw (flip) and the second triple jump (Salchow), it was a good performance, a clean performance”, Szolkowy commented.
Mukhortova/Trankov turned in a strong performance to “Love Story” as well that featured a double Axel, triple toe-double toe combination and a high triple twist, but she put her hands down on the throw triple loop. The Russians earned 128.49 points (64.65/63.84) and remained in third at 202.03 points. “It wasn’t our best performance, there were a few errors, some landings of the jumps weren’t so good, but we fought through it. But we’ve skated clean in most competitions of the season, which is important in an Olympic season”, Trankov said.
Tatiana Volosozhar/Stanislav Morozov (UKR) finished fourth with a good program to “Pearl Harbour” (187.83 points). Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) came in fifth in what was their debut at the European Championships (159.84 points).
The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2009 continue Thursday with the Original Dance and the Men’s Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: http://www.isu.org and http://www.euroskate2010.eu
For further information please contact:
Devra Pitt-Getaz, ISU Media Coordinator
+372 533 219 54 (phone)
Kai-Riin Meri and Iveri Marukashvili
ISU European Figure Skating Championships
+372 534 643 36 (press room)
# # #
Name: Devra Pitt - Getaz
Organization: International Skating Union ISU
Phone: +372 533 219 54
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