The 2020 European Championships in Graz, Austria came to a conclusion yesterday with skaters representing Russia winning all four titles for the first time since 2006.
The race to decide who would succeed Javier Fernandez as European men’s champion got off to a shocking start when France’s Kevin Aymoz, 2019 Grand Prix Final bronze medallist, crashed out in the short programme on the first day of competition. In the end, Dmitri Aliev from Russia laid down an almost faultless routine in the free skating to take gold. Sixteen year old Artur Danielian from Russia held off Georgia’s Morisi Kvitelashvili in the battle for the silver medal. Kvitelashvili was the first Georgian skater to medal in the men’s event.
Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozslovskii from Russia set a new world record score of 82.34 points in the short and won the free comfortably with another personal best (152.24) to claim their first European title. Former two-time champions Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov went home with silver while Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin completed the podium sweep for Russia.
A jolt to the ice dance world of seismic proportions saw Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov from Russia end France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron’s winning streak at the European Championships. The French had been going for their sixth consecutive title, but the Sinitsina and Katsalapov eked out their victory by a mere 0.14 points. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin rounded out the podium.
As expected, Russia swept the ladies podium and it was only a question of which order it would be. Alena Kostornaia snatched her second major international title despite losing the free after a fall on a triple Lutz towards the end of her programme. Anna Shcherbakova won the free, but a fall on a quadruple Lutz cost her the gold medal. Even though Alexandra Trusova fell twice in her free routine, she had more than enough of a technical cushion over the rest of the field to hang on to bronze.
As well as all four titles, Russia won 10 out of the 12 medals on offer at the European Championships which was the most since the former Soviet Union collected the same amount at both the 1986 and 1987 editions.