Skip to main content




Figure skating: Samodurova pips Olympic champion Zagitova for European gold

Figure skating: Samodurova pips Olympic champion Zagitova for European gold

Russias second placed Alina Zagitova (L) and winner Sofia Samodurova pose during a medal ceremony after the ladies free skating at the ISU European figure skating championships in Minsk, Belarus on Jan 25, 2019. (Photo: AP/Sergei Grits)

MINSK: Russian teenager Sofia Samodurova stunned Olympic champion Alina Zagitova to win the European figure skating title in Minsk on Friday (Jan 25) on her maiden appearance.

The 16-year-old, who was second after the short programme, earned 140.96 points for her free routine to leapfrog defending champion Zagitova who had topped the standings going into the deciding day.

Samodurova, who was just fifth at the ISU Grand Prix final in Vancouver in December, took gold with a personal best total of 213.84 points.

"Today from early morning I set myself up to show my best skating," Samodurova said at a packed 15,000-seat Minsk arena.

Olympic champion Zagitova committed a catalogue of errors during her free programme presentation to finish second, 15.50pts behind.

Viveca Lindfors of Finland, who was fourth after the opening day, improved her position winning bronze on 194.40 points overall.

Earlier Friday, French ice dance stars Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron took the lead after the rhythm dance programme.

The three-time world champions, and four-time European title winners, confirmed their status as the event's red-hot favourites earning 84.79pts to the Astor Piazzola medley by Gideon Kremer to break their own world record for the highest score.

"It all went really well," Papadakis said. "We're proud indeed of what we have done. We are happy with what we've achieved and to be in the first place."

Russia's Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who were third at last year's European championships, claimed their personal best mark of 81.37 points for to lie second.

Italian pair Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are third on 79.05 points.

Source: AFP/ec


Also worth reading