Olympic silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France edged Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov by just 0.05 points in the Rhythm Dance as the ISU European Figure Skating Championships continued in Graz (AUT) on Thursday. Italians Charlene Guignard/ Marco Fabbri (ITA) are currently ranked third.
Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON (FRA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Papadakis/Cizeron put out an upbeat dance to “Fame”, dressed in colorful outfits matching the theme. The five-time European Champions collected a level four for the Finnstep Pattern Dance sequence, the twizzles and the straight line lift while the pattern dance type step sequence was rated a level three for her and a level four for him and the diagonal steps garnered a level three. The four-time World Champions scored 88.78 points.
“We did a great performance, we are happy about it, we are almost the same points as Nikita (Katsalapov) and Viktoria (Sinitsina). We are not really surprised. We did a good program, we skated well, I'm sure they deserve to be there, too and we'll see on Saturday what happens,” Cizeron said.
Victoria SINITSINA / Nikita KATSALAPOV (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Sinitsina/Katsalapov’s lighthearted dance to “Singin’ in the Rain” was highlighted by fast twizzles, a level-four midline step sequence and a rotational lift. The Russian Champions had the same technical base value and set a personal best of 88.73 points to come very close to Papadakis/Cizeron.
“We are feeling just awesome now, we skated with ease, when we finished the program, we still had so much power. Obviously, we were not only skating on emotions, we were controlling all elements, because we, especially me, sometimes could do something that we shouldn’t do. We prepared very well and I think the program today showed it,” Katsalapov commented.
Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI (ITA) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “Grease”, Guignard/Fabbri produced intricate footwork, earning a level four for the twizzles and the Finnstep Pattern. Their stationary lift was graded a level four as well. The 2019 European bronze medalists set a personal best with 84. 66 points.
“We are finally happy about our performance. This year has been really hard. Because of my injury (tendon injury to his right hand) we couldn’t train properly and once the competitive season has started we just had back-to-back competitions, so we didn’t have time to practice. After nationals we had time to work, to get many run-thrus and to get used to this new program,” Fabbri shared.
2019 European silver medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) are within striking distance of the podium in fourth place on 83.65 points. They delivered a passionate performance to “Moulin Rouge”. Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS), who danced to “The Greatest Showman”, came fifth on 75.10 points followed by 2019 Skate Canada bronze medalists Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson (GBR) with 74.26 points.
The schedule of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020 is as follows:
Thursday, January 23: Rhythm Dance, Men’s Free Skating
Friday, January 24: Ladies Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Saturday, January 25: Free Dance, Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, January 26: Exhibition Gala
Where to watch and follow the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020?
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