The European Figure Skating Championships return to Finland for the first time since 2009 with the city of Espoo playing host. Russia claimed all four titles last year in Tallinn, but due to that country’s invasion of Ukraine no Russian team will participate this year and a complete new set of champions will be crowned.
When is it on?
The European Championships begin Wednesday, 25 January with the pairs short programme and concludes Sunday, 29 January with the exhibition gala.
Who is skating?
Daniel Grassl (ITA) won silver at last year’s Europeans and will be aiming to step one place higher in Espoo in the men’s event. He was the only European man to qualify for last month’s Grand Prix Final in Turin. Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) took bronze behind Grassl in Tallinn. The Latvian had somewhat of a rollercoaster during the Grand Prix finishing 10th at Skate Canada and 2nd at the MK John Wilson Trophy a few weeks later. Adam Siao Him Fa (FRA) and Kevin Aymoz (FRA) will no doubt be podium contenders, while former European medallists Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO) and Matteo Rizzo (ITA) will also be competing.
It is hard to see past Loena Hendrickx (BEL) claiming Belgium’s first women’s European title. The 2022 World silver medallist picked up her first Grand Prix title in France and took bronze at the Grand Prix Final. Anastasiia Gubanova (GEO) won bronze at the MK John Wilson Trophy in November. No Polish woman has ever won a European medal so Ekaterina Kurakova (POL) who was fifth at last year’s Europeans will be hoping to add her name to the history books.
The pairs competition is shaping up to be a battle between Italy and Germany. Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii (ITA) and Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini (ITA) both qualified for the Grand Prix Final with the former winning bronze. Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert (GER) collected gold at Nebelhorn Trophy and silver at the Finnish Grand Prix which was held in the same venue as Europeans. Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel (GER) were victorious at Finlandia Trophy in Espoo and took bronze at the French Grand Prix.
After two Grand Prix wins and Grand Prix Final bronze, Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) are the hot favourites to upgrade their 2022 European ice dance bronze to gold. Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson (GBR) finished just behind the Italians in Turin and the Britons will be aiming for their country’s best result at Europeans since 1994. The fight for ice dance bronze will be intense. Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis (FIN) will be hoping that home support will give them the extra edge they need to climb onto the podium. Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud (FRA) and Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius (LTU) will also be in contention for medals.
Everything you need to know (and some things you did not) about the skaters, the competition schedule and results can be viewed here.
When is the skating on?
Morning to afternoon in North America, afternoon to evening in Europe and all through the night in Asia. The times listed for Europeans are local and if you want to know what the time difference is between where you are and Espoo then this link is your friend.
Where can I watch the pretty skaters?
This season’s Europeans can be viewed on the ISU Skating YouTube channel. Geographic restrictions apply.
What are the hashtags?