Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres struck gold, becoming the first European Pair Skating Champions from France since 1932 as the ISU European Figure Skating Championships continued Thursday with the Pairs Free Skating in Minsk (BLR). Defending champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov of Russia settled for the silver this time while Russian newcomers Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitri Kozlovskii captured the bronze medal in their debut at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS), Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres (FRA) and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
James/Cipres put out an emotional performance to “Wicked Game” and “The Last Feeling”, opening with a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe-double toe combination and triple Salchow and following up with difficult lifts, a throw triple flip and throw triple Salchow. The World bronze medalists earned a level four for the lifts and the pair spin. The French Champions scored 149.11 points for the Free Skating and totaled 225.66 points to take the title.
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres (FRA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
“It is a dream come true. We’ve dreamt of that forever. I am so happy and proud, I can’t even find words to express how much,” James shared. “We sacrificed so much and did so many efforts. It was a dream when we were children to be here one day. It’s a moment of joy that I really want to share with the whole team, the federation, my family and my friends. We finally made history and we’re so proud. We’ll keep going to hopefully win more titles,” Cipres said.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating to “Winter”, Tarasova/Morozov completed a huge triple twist, side by side triple toeloop, throw triple loop and Salchow as well as level-four spins and footwork. The only glitch came when Tarasova, like in the Short Program, landed forward on the side by side triple toe that was downgraded. The World silver medalists achieved a new season’s best with 144.92 points and racked up 218.82 points overall. “We are obviously very disappointed by this defeat, by losing the gold medal. Like yesterday the whole skate was good except one jump element (the combination). We gave it away ourselves today,” Morozov told the press.
Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Boikova/Kozlovskii’s program to “The Nutcracker” by Petr Tchaikovski was highlighted by a side by side triple Salchow, triple twist, throw triple Salchow and loop. However, Kozlovskii stumbled on the side by side triple toeloop and failed to complete the combination. The team from Saint Petersburg, at 17 and 19 the youngest Pair in the event, nevertheless managed a season’s best with 132.70 points for the Free Skating. With 205.28 points overall the 2017 World Junior silver medalists moved up from fourth to third to snatch the bronze. “It’s a miracle. Fate has forgiven me today - it gave me a scare and then it has saved me. It is truly a miracle,” Kozlovskii commented. “It’s no secret I made a mistake, people will have noticed of course, and I don’t know why I did it. It was unexpected and inexplicable, but we will learn a lesson from it and move on,” he continued.
Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) made a few little errors to slip to fourth place, edged out of the podium by just 0.14 points (205.14 points). 2018 World Junior Champions Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) remained in fifth place on 185.92 points followed by Minerva Fabienne Hase/Nolan Seegert (GER) on 180.56 points.
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT), who stood in 7th place following the Short Program, withdrew from the competition citing emotional distress.
The competition continues Friday with the Rhythm Dance and Ladies Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and the official event website. Follow the discussion on social media using #EuroFigure and #FigureSkating.