Three-time Russian champions Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov continued to gain steam heading into the Olympics next month with the biggest win in their career today at the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships. Their win broke the streak of three-time and reigning European champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who took the silver.
Related: Photos from the pairs’ free skate
Related: More photos from the pairs’ free skate
Kavaguti and Smirnov started their season off slowly but began to pick up momentum and consistency at last month’s Russian Nationals. After finishing a close second in the short program, they edged the Germans by just over a point to win their first European title. And they did it in spectacular fashion, setting a new world record free skate score of 139.23 en route to a total score of 213.15.
Defending champions and World champions Savchenko and Szolkowy had a few errors in their free skate that prevented them from taking their fourth title. Savchenko two-footed their trademark throw triple flip and doubled her solo triple salchow. But even with the mistakes, they earned a personal best free skate score and a total of 211.72.
Russian silver medalists Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov finished with the bronze with a relatively clean program. Their only mistake was a hand down on the throw triple loop. But considering how well the international judges have received their programs this season, it was a somewhat of a surprise to see such a huge difference in their Program Components Score versus that of Kavaguti and Smirnov.
Ukrainian champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov maintained their fourth place standing, over 20 points ahead of the fifth place team, Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov.
PAIRS (final standings)
1. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov RUS – 213.15
2. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy GER – 211.72
3. Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov RUS – 202.03
4. Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov UKR – 187.83
5. Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov RUS – 159.84
6. Nicole Della Monica and Yannick Kocon ITA – 156.80
7. Vanessa James and Yannick Bonheur FRA – 151.28
8. Anais Morand and Antoine Dorsaz SUI – 144.95
9. Maylin Hausch and Daniel Wende GER – 142.76
10. Adeline Canac and Maximin Coia FRA – 139.73
11. Stacey Kemp and David King GBR – 137.29
12. Erica Risseeuw and Robert Paxton GBR – 130.09
13. Maria Sergejeva and Ilja Glebov EST – 129.46
14. Joanna Sulej and Mateusz Chruscinski POL – 124.79
15. Jessica Crenshaw and Chad Tsagris GRE – 115.59
16. Nina Ivanova and Filip Zalevski BUL – 106.31
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