Kostner wins gold, Russian newcomers shine at European championships

Carolina Kostner, Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva at 2013 European championships

Reigning World champion Carolina Kostner of Italy skated off with her fifth European title as the competition concluded. Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia took the silver and bronze medals in their debut at the high-level event.

Carolina Kostner produced a triple Lutz, double Axel, triple flip-double toe as well as two more triple jumps in her routine to “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel. The World Champion picked up a level four for two spins and the footwork and earned a new personal best score of 130.52 points. Overall she accumulated 194.71 points.

“I had a wonderful first three minutes of my program. I thought I was on the way to the skate of my life. Then I got slammed back down to earth and I realized my program is very hard and I need still to do a lot of work to do all the choreography I want. This is my challenge and the reason I skate”, Kostner said.

“Somehow they (European titles) have all been quite difficult but this was really hard. The two girls sitting beside me are very, very strong and I know that technically I may not be as strong as them. I have to do my best to be able to sit here and I was able to do that and it was a hard one”, she told at the press conference.

Overnight leader Adelina Sotnikova had to overcome two errors at the beginning of her routine to “At Last” and “Burlesque”, underrotating a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and singling the flip, but then recovered to hit four triples including a double Axel-triple toe and excellent spins. The 2011 World Junior Champion earned 126.38 points, improving her personal best by almost ten points. At 193.99 points, the Muscovite slipped to second.

“You could say I am fairly happy – I did everything I could except that horrible triple flip! I popped it again. But apart from that it was fine, there are things that could be improved but now isn’t the time to talk about that. It’s my first European championships and I have a silver medal – it’s like a party day for me now.” Sotnikova commented.

Performing to “Dark Eyes”, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva pulled off a triple Lutz-triple toe and five more triple jumps as well as two level-four spins to score 131.67 points, another personal best. The 16-year-old won the free skating and moved up from fourth to third with 188.85 points.

“I’m incredibly happy, to be honest I’m in shock. I had a totally different approach today, I was in a different mood to yesterday. I don’t know if it was visible but I was more sure of myself, more confident, my legs were stronger. I was much better set on my triple-triple. I tried to set the mood from the start and show more energy than yesterday.” Tuktamysheva noted.

Valentina Marchei (ITA) dropped from third to fourth in spite of a strong performance (171.06 points). Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) finished fifth (155.72 points) while Nikol Gosviani (RUS) pulled up from 12th to sixth (154.41 points).

Photo: La Presse

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