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Conti kissing

Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii (ITA) celebrate their win in the Pairs Free Skating at Espoo (FIN) © ISU


Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii (ITA) made history, winning the first ISU Championship title for an Italian Pair at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Espoo (FIN) Thursday.

Italy celebrates historic wins with first gold and silver in pair skating 

ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii made history by winning the first European title for Italian Pair Skating. Team mates Rebecca Ghilardi/Filippo Ambrosini added to their success, by winning the first silver medal for an Italian Pair at the ISU European Championship in Espoo.

Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek had won the lone bronze medal for Italian Pair Skating at the ISU European Championships 10 years ago in 2013. Horatek is now coaching the new silver and bronze medalists from Espoo.

Germany’s Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel claimed the bronze in Espoo. 

Performing to “Cinema Paradiso”, Conti/Macii entered their own paradise with a strong performance that featured a triple toe-single Axel-single Axel, triple Salchow, throw triple loop and Salchow, as well as a level-four reverse lasso lift. Only the triple twist was somewhat shaky. 

Conti/Macii achieved a new personal best with 124.68 points and ranked second in the Free Skating. They totalled 195.13 points to remain in first place. The pair, who are a couple on and off the ice, was on cloud nine and shared a kiss when posing for the photographers, to the delight of the audience. 

“It means for us a lot, we really like to skate for our country and to represent it. This is the second time we make history for our country, so we are always proud of it,” Macii said. 

“Of course it’s an achievement, and it was a dream to have a medal of any color at the European championships. So I think gold is something that goes beyond our imagination.”

Conti agreed: “The pressure is so high, but to skate with this support from the public is incredible for us. We are super happy.

“It was so difficult to skate after we finished first in the Short program, the pressure was so big. But now we are so happy!”

Ghilardi/Ambrosini stood in fifth place following a faulty Short Program, but they came back strong in their entertaining Free Skating to “The Barber of Seville”. 


Ghilardi Ambrosini day 2

Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini (ITA) take silver in the Pairs Free Skating at Espoo (FIN) © ISU


The ISU Grand Prix Espoo Champions produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and Lutz as well as three level-four lifts. Only the double Axel-double Axel-singe Axel sequence was wobbly. 

The ISU Grand Prix Finalists earned a personal best of 127.48 points and won the Free Skating segment. With 186.96 points overall, they climbed to second place.

“We enjoyed tonight, the program was like we skated with our heart. We enjoyed the public that was here in Finland.  So we appreciate everything,” said Ambrosini. 

Hocke/Kunkel put out a solid skate to “Without You” that was highlighted by a triple twist, a throw triple flip and difficult lifts, but Hocke went down on the side by side triple Salchow. 


Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel (GER) take bronze in the Pairs Free Skating © ISU


The German Champions collected 117.18 points and slipped from second to third at 184.26 points. 

“We always forget that we are still pretty new with our team. We changed a lot and it's still kind of the beginning,” said Hocke. 

“Of course I'm a little sad about not showing our best at the Europeans, but there were really good things to take away and some things that we need to just work on.”

Alisa Efimova/Ruben Blommaert (GER) dropped from third to fourth at 173.66 points after some errors. Maria Pavlova/Alexander Sviatchenko (HUN) moved up from sixth to fifth place at 172.98 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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ISU website:                 ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2023


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