Javier Fernandez (ESP)
Javier Fernandez of Spain reigned supreme in the Men’s Short Program and seems poised for his sixth consecutive title as the ISU European Championships opened Wednesday in Moscow (RUS). World Junior silver medalist Dmitri Aliev of Russia entered the European scene with a bang, coming second. Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia came out strong and surprisingly sits in third place.
Skating to “Charlie Chaplin”, Fernandez hit a quad toe-triple toeloop combination, a somewhat shaky quadruple Salchow, good triple Axel and picked up a level four for his spins and a level three for the footwork. The two-time World Champion scored 103.82 points.
“I think I did a good performance as (my coach) Brian (Orser) said. We’re not looking for perfection, but for a good program. It was a good day. I am looking forward to a day of training tomorrow and then to the free program”, Fernandez said. “My goal for Europeans is to win, because it is important for me, important to keep writing history not only in Europe, but for Spain especially”, he explained.
Dmitri Aliev (RUS)
Aliev opened his program to “Waltz Masquerade” with a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and followed up with a quad toe, triple Axel and level-four spins to set a new personal best of 91.33 points. “In general I am satisfied with my performance; this is also my season best. Unfortunately, the planned quad Lutz didn’t happen, it could bring me more points. Actually I was confident and was sure I will do it”, the 18-year-old commented. “I was a little nervous, I ripped my laces while tying them. So it was tying-untying-tying together. Then I just put tape over them. Maybe that threw me a little off”, he added.
Vasiljevs’s program to “Recondita Armonia” by Giacomo Puccini featured a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple Axel, triple flip as well as level-four spins and footwork. The Latvian Champion earned 85.11 points, a new personal best score. “I had a great time, I really enjoyed it. There are a lot of positive emotions. It brought me a lot of joy and pleasure to be here in this event. I am looking forward to the upcoming challenge in the free program,” Vasiljevs noted.
Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT)
Reigning European bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) stumbled on his opening quadruple Lutz and then popped his planned quad toeloop into a double and had no combination. The ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist recovered to produce a triple Axel and two level-four spins (83.41 points). Jorik Hendrickx (BEL) fell on his triple Axel to place fifth (78.65 points) and Matteo Rizzo (ITA) is currently ranked sixth with a solid performance (78.26 points).