As expected, the ladies event was dominated by Russia and it was a Russian who stood on the highest step on the podium for the third consecutive year. It was also notable that Elizaveta Tuktamysheva was not here to defend her title.
Evgenia Medvedeva may be another young skating prodigy, but she showed a maturity beyond her years at what was her first Europeans. Even though there were mistakes in both the short and free, her skating skills and jump technique suggest that there is a likelihood that she will be around for perhaps longer than some of her other compatriots. Her unadulterated joy at winning the title was delightful to see and she was no less a pleasure to talk to backstage, making the effort to at least try to answer the international media’s questions in English.
“Today in the Kiss and Cry was the first time I cried from happiness,” Medvedeva said. “I can’t believe it, this is just impossible. I’m so happy and I’m European Champion today.”
Elena Radionova repeated her silver from Stockholm last year with two typically gutsy and emotive performances, but her skating was laborious in comparison with Medvedeva’s and lacking in transitions which rightfully prevented her from taking the gold.
The most vulnerable of the Russian trio proved to be Anna Pogorilaya. Despite popping a triple loop to a double in the short and two hard falls in the free, she still had breathing room over the rest of her field and retained her bronze from 2015.
The best of the rest was Angelīna Kučvaļska from Latvia and she earned herself a new set of personal bests in finishing fourth. This was the highest placing by a Latvian skater since 1993 when Konstantin Kostin also ended up fourth in the men’s event.
Italy’s Roberta Rodeghiero was fifth overall with Maé-Bérénice Méité from France rounding out the top six.
2016 Europeans Ladies Medallists