Stockholm / Sweden

Javier Fernandez (ESP) claims third European title
Javier Fernandez of Spain claimed his third European title while Russia’s Maxim Kovtun and Sergei Voronov took the silver and bronze medals.

Fernandez opened his routine to “The Barber of Seville” with a quadruple toeloop followed by a triple Salchow-triple toeloop combination and a triple Axel and three other triple jumps, however, he crashed on the quad Salchow and doubled the Lutz. The two-time World bronze medalist collected a level four for three spins and a level three for the footwork to score 173.25 points. He racked up 262.49 points overall. “This medal is more important than a regular European medal because it's three times in a row. Maybe I didn't do my best performance ever but it's a little bit more special than other medals as since 1989 nobody has won three European medals in a row”, the ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist commented.

Performing to “Exogenesis Symphony” by Muse, Kovtun struggled at the beginning with his quad Salchow, quad toe and triple Axel, but recovered to hit five triples and three level-four spins. The Russian Champion picked up 157.47 points and totaled 235.68 points to pull up from fourth to second. „I have mixed feelings about today, obviously I'm very happy that I was able to win my first medal at such an important event, but I am not happy with my performance. The main thing is I kept fighting, but to be honest it was the hardest skate of my life”, the 19-year-old said.

Voronov’s program to “This is a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and “Come Together” included a triple Axel-double toe and three other triple jumps, but the 2014 European silver medalist two-footed his quad-triple toe and stumbled on a triple Axel. The ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist earned 151.99 points and at 233.05 points overall, slipped from second to third. “The feeling of my skate and my jumps, like for all of us, was not good today. But I didn’t feel pressure, more just tiredness. My physical preparation was good but I still feel very tired right now.  I'm personally very happy that it's my second time in the top three at Europeans and I skated against strong competitors”, the 27-year-old told the press.

Alexei Bychenko (ISR) moved up from 7th to fourth with 220.22 points. Michal Brezina (CZE) dropped from third to fifth (220.11 points) and Peter Liebers (GER) finished sixth (213.57 points).

Chafik Besseghier (FRA) withdrew citing a knee injury. He stood in 24th place following the Short Program.

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2015 continue Saturday with the Ladies’ Free Skating.