Sarah Meier takes the gold
Sarah Meier of Switzerland skated to the gold medal on home ice, Carolina Kostner of Italy surged from sixth to claim the silver and Finland’s Kiira Korpi earned the bronze medal.
Meier skated last in what was to be the last competition of her career and gave a clean performance to the “Love in the Times of Cholera” soundtrack. The 26-year-old reeled off five triple jumps, two double Axels and got a level four for her flying camel spin to score 112.04 points. Overall she accumulated 170.60 points and moved up from third to claim the title. “I still can’t believe it, I have always dreamed of this moment. It is just like I imagined it to be. It was very emotional, the atmosphere and the crowd was amazing. Because it was my last competition it was even more emotional”, Meier said. “I was surprised that I was here (at the press conference) yesterday and I am even more surprised to be here today. It’s unbelievable. It is the right moment to stop. It is the perfect ending.”
Kostner’s routine to “L’aprés-midi d’un faun” was highlighted by a double Axel-triple toe, two triple Salchows and two level-four spins, but she had trouble with the triple loop and stepped out of the triple flip. The three-time European Champion won the free skating with 115.37 points and moved up four spots at 168.54 points overall. “Yesterday before I went to bed I looked at the situation in a very realistic way and I knew it was going to be hard. So I focused less on the medals but on skating my best. It helped a lot. I did wonderful practices before I came, really good practices here. So I knew I was ready. I know it was just a matter of being focused. I’m very pleased and surprised with the result and so happy for Sarah (Meier)”, Kostner told the press.
Korpi struggled with her jumps in the beginning of the program to “Evita”, but rallied back in the second half with two triples and strong spins to hold on to third place with 166.40 points. She scored 102.90 points for the Free Skating. “The program was quite a struggle”, admitted the Finn. “It didn’t start out well and I fell on the loop. But the crowd was very supportive. I fought until the end. I am happy with this medal even though I know I could have done better. I have come a long way since my last medal. Last year I was so close”, she added.
Ksenia Makarova (RUS) made some errors on her jumps and slipped from second to fourth at 162.04 points. Alena Leonova (RUS) delivered a strong Free Skating and was ranked third in this segment to move up from 13th to 5th at 154.31 points.
Florent Amodio crowned European Champion
Florent Amodio led the French men to a close one-two finish in what was an exciting Men’s event with Brian Joubert surging from seventh to second. Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic claimed the bronze medal.
Amodio entertained the crowd at the Postfinance Arena with his pop medley to music by Michael Jackson and Black Eyes Peas. The 20-year-old produced two triple Axels, a triple Salchow-triple toe combination and three more triples as well as fast spins to pick up 148.75 points. Amodio totaled 226.86 points and won the title in his debut at the European Championships.
“It was hard to skate for a medal tonight. I had two, three minor errors but overall I’m so happy with this program”, Amodio said. “The audience was great, I almost couldn’t hear my music anymore. It was magical to be out there. It was something special to compete for a medal and to skate in this last warm up group. It was a new experience for me and I’m happy with it”, he added.
Joubert rallied back from a disappointing Short Program. Performing to Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, the three-time European Champion nailed his opening quad toe as well as five triples. The 26-year-old won the Free Skating with 152.57 points and earned his tenth consecutive medal at the European Championships with a total of 223.01 points. „It was close, three points and I would have had my fourth title. I paid for my fall on the Lutz in the short program. I didn’t think that I would be on the podium”, the Frenchman said. “Florent (Amodio) skated very well. I’m not disappointed. The most important for me was that I was able to come back strong and that I didn’t give up”, he continued.
Verner’s Michael Jackson medley featured a quadruple toeloop and five triple jumps, but he stumbled out of his first triple Axel and doubled a Lutz. The Czech skater scored 149.69 points and moved up from fifth to third at 222.60 points. I am not too happy with my performance today. I wanted to skate better. It was cold and I didn’t give one hundred percent in the last step sequence, which is the highlight of the program. However I am pleased with the opening quad. This medal completes my collection as I now have gold, silver and bronze. I would have preferred another gold one though. But the other competitors were very good”, the 24-year-old commented.
Kevin van der Perren produced a strong performance that included a quad toe and eight triples to finish fourth (216.07 points). Artur Gachinski (RUS) also hit a quad but fell on a triple Axel and dropped from third to fifth (216.07 points).