Volosozhar, Trankov take second European title
Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia took their second consecutive gold in pair skating yesterday, at the European championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
German team of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy took the silver, and Italian Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek claimed first pair skating medal for their country.
Volosozhar/Trankov opened their program to “Violin Muse” with a triple twist and followed up with a side by side triple Salchow and a triple toe-double toe combination. They picked up a level four for six elements and the only errors came on the throw jumps when Volosozhar stumbled. The two-time World silver medalists earned a seasons best of 139.22 points and accumulated 212.45 points overall to defend their title.
“We are very pleased we defended out European title and that we decided to compete here after all. Of course, we are not entirely happy with the performance, there were some mistakes. But overall, this is start for Russia at these Championships, the first gold medal and we hope our teammates will also do.” Volosozhar commented.
Savchenko/Szolkowy’s routine to “Flamenco Bolero” was highlighted by a throw triple twist, a triple triple toe sequence, and a triple twist as well as five level-four elements, but Savchenko fell on the side by side triple Salchow while he doubled. The Germans set a new seasons best with 135.03 points and totaled 205.24 points.
“We fought through it. I think the first half was strong, powerful, but then in the second one we run out of steam a little. But we went for everything. I should have done a triple Salchow. Of course, we really would have gone for everything. We know what we need to do. We didn’t try anything new; we need to make sure that we get all the transitions in and that we can rise as the music is rising and go faster.” Szolkowy commented.
Skating to “Poeta”, Berton/Hotarek completed a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination throw triple loop and Salchow to earn 123.17 points, another season’s best. The Italians accumulated 187.45 points overall and remained in third place.
“Today was one of the most difficult days for us. The press coming from a third place in the short program was slowly getting to us. But somehow it worked out. We couldn’t be happier with the result and wining the first medal in Italian pairs history.” Hotarek noted.
Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) placed fourth at 178.81 points and Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) finished fifth with 178.81 points. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) completed the top six with 167.23 points.