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CoNTI Macii 

 Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii (ITA) compete in the Pairs Short Program at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships, Espoo © ISU


ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medallists Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii seized the lead as the ISU European Figure Skating Championships opened in Espoo (FIN) with the Pairs Short Program. A total of 131 skaters, representing 35 ISU Members, have been entered for this 115th edition of the European Championships: 29 Men, 30 Women, 13 Pairs and 23 Ice Dance couples.

Conti/Macii (ITA) take lead in Pairs Short Program

ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii of Italy skated to the lead with Germany’s Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel and Alisa Efimova/Ruben Blommaert following in second and third. 

Skating to “Oblivion”, Conti/Macii produced a triple twist, side by side triple Salchow and throw triple loop. The Italian Champions picked up a level four for the death spiral, spin, lift and step sequence to earn a personal best of 70.45 points. 

We are happy that we made 70 points - the first time in our life in international competition,” Macii said. 

“This is the first season that we are collecting a lot of medals, so we surprised about the points. I think we did a clean short, but it wasn’t a “good” short and we got a lot of points. I can’t wait until we do our very best, but it is very, very difficult with the pressure,“ he continued.

Hocke/Kunkel’s upbeat Abba Medley was highlighted by a triple twist, throw triple loop and level-four combination spin. However, Hocke underrotated the triple Salchow, and stepped out of it, while Kunkel two-footed. The German champions scored 67.08 points. 

Hocke Kunkel

Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel (GER) in the Pairs Short Program at ISU European Figure Skating Championships at Espoo © ISU


We knew we were well prepared, we were happy to finally be able to skate. It felt like forever, that we waited for the Europeans, even though the German Nationals were just two weeks ago,“ Hocke said. 

“We don't think about medals. Of course, we know this time it's a little different. If we show our best then everything is possible, so it's up to us to do what we have to do,“ Hocke added. 

“We had a really good time at the Finlandia Trophy two and a half months ago. I think everyone was a little shaky today, but it was very nice; the audience was super motivating,“ Kunkel said. 

Efimova/Blommaert opened their lyrical performance to “Moonlight Sonata” in a new arrangement, with a high triple twist and throw triple loop, but they struggled with the Axel Lasso lift, which was rated only at the base level. The Grand Prix Espoo silver medalists earned 62.77 points. 

Efimova Blomm

Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert of Germany compete in the Pairs Short Program © ISU


“It felt good, actually,” Blommaert said. “But at the lift, she [Efimova] was a bit forward, and in practice I would have aborted the lift, as this is dangerous, especially in the Axel Lasso lift. 

“But here at Europeans I obviously tried everything to keep the lift above my head. It was a shame, but the base level for the lift is still a lot of points,” Blommaert explained. 

ISU Grand Prix de France silver medalists Camille Kovalev/Pavel Kovalev (FRA) are not far behind in fourth place at 62.46 points. ISU Grand Prix Espoo champions Rebecca Ghilardi/Filippo Ambrosini (ITA) are currently ranked fifth, after Ghilardi singled the Axel and Ambrosini fell in the footwork (59.48 points). 


Following the IOC recommendation and in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all the participants of international ice skating competitions, the ISU Council based on Article 17.1.q)i) of the ISU Constitution, agreed that with immediate effect and until further notice, no Skaters belonging to the ISU Members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia) and Belarus (Skating Union of Belarus) shall be invited or allowed to participate in International ice skating competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events. The same applies to Officials listed in the respective ISU Communications and/or Regulations under Russia and Belarus (see ISU Communication 2469).


Schedule of the event

The schedule of the European Figure Skating Championships is as follows:

Wednesday, January 25:         Pairs & Men’s Short Programs
Thursday, January 26:             Women’s Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Friday, January 27:                  Rhythm Dance & Men’s Free Skating
Saturday, January 28:              Women’s Free Skating & Free Dance
Sunday, January 29:                Exhibition Gala

For full entries and results, please see the ISU event page and the official website. Follow the discussion on social media using #EuroFigure and #FigureSkating.


Where to watch the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2023:

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

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