Julia Lipnitskaia takes European skating crown
Russian Julia Lipnitskaia took the gold at 2014 European championships and became the first European lady since Norwegian Sonja Henie (1931) to win the title in her debut appearance.
Adelina Sotnikova, also from Russia, ceded her lead after the short program and took the silver medal, for the second consecutive year. Defending European champion Italian Carolina Kostner claimed the bronze.
Lipnitskaia showed in Budapest an excellent performance to “Schindler’s List”. Her already famous in this season free skating was highlighted by a triple Lutz-triple toe, a double Axel-triple toe, four more triple jumps and her highest level spins. The Russian set a new personal best score of 139.75points and got 209.72 points overall.
“My head is still spinning and I think I might faint right now. I skated 100 percent of myself. I did two difficult combinations the second half, so the base value went up. I never skated this variation of my free skate program in practice.” the new European champion said in a press conference.
Overnight leader Adelina Sotnikova overcame difficulties related with her triple Lutz at the beginning of program and then showed four clean triple jumps, including a double Axel-triple toe combination in her routine to “Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso” by Camille Saint-Saens. Reigning Russian national champion scored 202.36 points overall.
“This silver medal it’s like a gold for me,” Sotnikova said. “I got mostly the levels for the elements so I’m satisfied with what I did. The big element was not there again but after that went wrong I was pleased I managed to pull myself together and deliver a good program.” she noted.
Italian Carolina Kostner performed four triple jumps and picked up a level four for her footwork as well as for the flying camel spin, skating to “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel. However, she fell on a triple toe-loop and doubled a loop, getting an overall score of 191.39 points.
“I was here ten years ago at my second European Championships. I saw Julia Sebestyen win and I looked up at her with big eyes and dreamed one day to take her place and I’ve managed to take her place five times already. This was the best practice before the Olympic Games. I’m not quite satisfied with my performance but I can go home with a medal, which is a very big joy for me.” Kostner said.
Another Russian Alena Leonova finished fourth with 178.15 points. French Mae-Berenice Meite surprised herself and the audience by delivering a strong performance and finishing fifth with 173.37 points.
2014 European Championships – Julia Lipnitskaia, FS