France’s Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron danced to their fifth consecutive title with 11 points to spare as the Ice Dance event concluded at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk (BLR) on Saturday. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin of Russia danced to the silver medal while Italians Charlene Guignard/ Marco Fabbri claimed the bronze, their first medal at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships.
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS), Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Papadakis/Cizeron floated over the ice in their dance to “Duet” and “Sunday Afternoon” by Rachael Yamagata, executing effortlessly intricate footwork and lifts. The Olympic silver medalists collected a level four for all elements - the lifts, twizzles, spin and step sequence to achieve a new season’s best of 133.19 points. The three-time World Champions totaled 217.98 points.
“We are really happy, that skate was almost technically perfect. The crowd was really uplifting and we couldn’t be more grateful to them and to be surrounded by our amazing team,” Cizeron said. “It (the fifth European title) is probably a little bit less of a surprise than the first time, but we are still so proud of what we have achieved and proud in fact of the whole French team, especially Vanessa and Morgan (James and Cipres) who were so great in the pairs event,” he continued.
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Stepanova/Bukin’s passionate peformace to “Am I the One” by Beth Harth featured excellent twizzles, lifts and steps as well. The two-time European bronze medalists earned a level four for six elements, but the one foot step sequence was rated a level two for her and a level three for him. The Muscovites posted a season’s best with 125.04 points which added up to 206.41 points overall. “For us it is really nice to get the silver medal after we had two bronze medals at Europeans. It is a big step forward for us,” Bukin commented. “Everything happened so fast. It was a bit nerve-wracking, we stood in second place (following the Rhythm Dance) and we had to retain our emotions,” he added.
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Dancing to “La La Land”, Guignard/Fabbri delivered a smooth dance highlighted by their combination spin, twizzles and footwork. The Italian Champions picked up a level four for all elements as well. They were ranked fourth in the Free Dance with 120.79, but overall remained in third place at 199.84 points. “It’s hard to say something right now because we’ve worked a lot throughout this year. We started from less than zero. I was a single skater before I started my ice dance career and, with her previous partner, she never really achieved a high level. Step by step, we built a strong partnership on the ice because off the ice we were a couple. It (the bronze medal) is really rewarding. We’re really excited,” Fabbri commented.
Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final silver medalists Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) pulled up from fifth to fourth place with their Free Dance to “Air” by Bach. They were ranked second in the Free Dance and had 193.95 points. Natalia Kaliszek/Maksym Spodyriev (POL) came fifth with a solid performance on 185.35 points. Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson (GBR) moved up one spot to finish sixth with their entertaining Disco Free Dance (182.05 points).