OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Javier Fernandez won his fifth straight European figure skating championship even with a fall on Saturday.
Holding an almost 10-point lead after the short program, the Spaniard opened the free skate with a perfect quad toe loop, but landed a quad salchow shakily, and fell in an attempt to nail another quad salchow.
“Everything in my body hurts right now,” Fernandez said. “Everything hurts so bad.”
Even so, he ended up winning the free skate, extending his lead, and finishing more than 28 points ahead of second-place Maxim Kovtun.
Fernadez’s total of 294.84 was well short of his personal best of 314.93, a warning before he tailors his training to retain his world championship title in Helsinki in late March.
Kovtun executed well a quad salchow and a quad toe loop in his best free skate score of 172.27 for a total of 266.80.
New Russian champion Mikhail Kolyada took bronze with his first podium result after falling while attempting to jump a difficult quad lutz.
Earlier, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France rebounded from third place after the short dance to retain their ice dance title.
The duo produced the best free dance to triumph for the third straight year.
“We work a lot,” Papadakis said. “And that’s the beautiful part of the sport, that we have to make it beautiful.”
Papadakis and Cizeron scored 114.19 points to move to the top with a total of 189.67.
They beat the 186.64 of the 2014 European and world champions Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte. The Italians were second after the short dance and finished second overall for the third consecutive time. Cappellini made a notable mistake on a twizzle.
“We’re very happy,” Lanotte said. “We gave our best and that’s important.”
Leading after the short dance, the 2013 champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia had to settle for third, just 0.08 behind.
All of the top three couples were less than a point apart after the short program. The initial leaders, Cappellini and Lanotte, had a point deducted after a video review, and dropped to second behind Bobrova and Soloviev.
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