Cappellini, Lanotte win gold in ice dance
Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte of Italy danced off with the gold medal. Russia’s Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland of Great Britain.
Cappellini/Lanotte put out a strong dance to “Barber of Seville”, collecting level fours for the lifts, spin and twizzles and a level three for the two step sequences. The couple from Milan scored 102.03 points, a new personal best in the Free Dance, and totaled 171.61 points to win the European title.
They were bronze medalists in 2013. It was the first gold medal for Italian Ice Dance since 2001 when Barbara Fusar Poli/ Maurizio Margaglio became European Champions. “We felt more tight today of course than before the short dance. But going into this free dance being in the lead gave us a boost of confidence, and anyway when you’re out there on the ice you’re not thinking about the others and their points, you have to go out and do your job. This was also definitely a great step forward looking on to the Olympics”, Cappellini told the press.
Ilinykh/Katsalapov’s passionate performance to “Swan Lake” was highlighted by innovative lifts and smooth footwork, but Ilinykh fell on the twizzles. Four elements garnered a level four, while the circular steps and the twizzles were rated a level three and the diagonal steps a level two.
The Muscovites earned 100.97 points and overall had 170.51 points to repeat as silver medalists. “It’s sport. Sometimes this happens. We were giving a 100 percent from the beginning and we were trying so hard. We were very well prepared for this competition. It is a great lesson for us”, Ilinykh commented.
Coomes/Buckland turned in an entertaining program to Michael Jackson songs and especially their acrobatic lifts were well received by the crowd. The British Champions posted a new personal best score with 96.93 points, which added up to 158.59 overall.
“I think it was Tallinn, Estonia (our first European Championships) and we were 16th, so I feel very proud to be sitting here today with a bronze medal. We’ve come a long way. (On the size of the medal) We’ve not had a medal before so this is size it should be! It could come in any size, I wouldn’t care”. Buckland noted.
Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS) finished fourth in what was their debut at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships (153.73 points). Teammates Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko followed in fifth place with 150.44 points and Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov (AZE) came sixth, the best result for an Azeri Ice Dance team in the history of the European Championships (147.78 points).