The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 continued in Tallinn, Estonia, on Thursday with the Original Dance
Domnina/Shabalin (RUS) retain lead in the Original Dance
World Champions Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin of Russia retained their lead in the Original Dance, but Italy’s Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali won this segment. Defending European Champions Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski (RUS) slipped to third place before the final Free Dance on Friday.
Domnina/Shabalin unveiled an inventive Aboriginal dance in international competition, dressed in colourful costumes. The dance was highlighted by a curve lift, well synchronized twizzles and difficult transition moves, but the side by side footwork was graded only a level two. The 2008 European Champions scored 61.49 points (28.90 element score/32.59 program component score) which added up to 104.27 points overall so far. “It was fun today. I think we skated better than in our last competition, but it wasn’t ideal”, Domnina said. “Like last year we wanted to go into a little different direction. Our coach suggested the idea to us and saw us in this dance when we didn’t see ourselves in it yet. This dance suits my soul very well. The most important thing is that people are not left indifferent by the dance. There are reactions, and that is already a plus. It is impossible to please everyone”, she continued.
Faiella/Scali put out a very characteristic Italian Tarantella that got the crowd going right away. They produced smooth footwork, earning a level four for the side by side step sequence and a level three for the circular steps. The 2009 European silver medallists beat Domnina/Shabalin in the segment with a season best score of 61.68 points (31.20/30.48) and moved up from third to second at 99.15 points. “We worked hard on the technical side of the routine, because it is really important now with the new system. We almost got to the level four (on all elements). Also both of us were really concentrated about the edges. At the same time we find a strong connection between us and the public. I hope we find the same connection on the ice tomorrow. Our free dance is completely different – it is dramatic and powerful, it is not cheerful like our folk routine, but it is definitely something that we really feel!” Scali explained.
Khokhlova/Novitski danced to the Russian song “Alongside the road to St. Petersburg”. Novitski was off balance on the sequential twizzle, and the couple was ranked fourth in the Original Dance with 58.59 points (28.80/29.79), but held on to third place overall at 96.46. “We have chosen a Russian folk dance because we are Russians and this dance is very close to us by its character, and we danced it with lots of passion”, Khokhlova said. “We were in the wonderful crazy mood today, the audience is great, and we were so carried away by it, that’s why probably we made some mistakes”, Novitski offered.
Grand Prix Final bronze medallists Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) are just 0.02 points away from the podium with 96.44 points. They showed an entertaining American Country Dance. Current European bronze medallists Sinead Kerr/John Kerr (GBR) are standing in fifth place. She wobbled on the twizzle section (93.81 points).
The ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2010 continue Friday with the Ladies Short Program and the Free Dance. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and www.euroskate2010.eu
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS