Men:Congrats to Javier Fernandez on a fourth straight European title. It was really exciting to see him up the technical ante, adding another quad to his short and another triple axel to his free. Though the new elements weren’t perfect here, he’s on the right path to stay as technically competitive as he can. Those two jumps are good ones for him, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands them all in Boston.
A surprised Alexei Bychenko got the silver medal here, with a set of much better skates than we’ve seen from him thus far this season. Maxim Kovtun hung on here for bronze, but as usual, I was underwhelmed by his performances; technically, though, he has enough firepower to amass points. What a wonderful memory we will all have of fourth place finisher, Florent Amodio, in his final competitive performance. His free skate was so passionately skated and he really hung on to his elements- what a great way to exit! I am assuming Mikhail Kolyada will be named to the Russian men’s World team after a fifth place finish here.
Ladies:The hot streak continues for Evgenia Medvedeva, winning the European title in her first appearance. Aside from the double axel issues, she was clean and consistent as always. While she may not have been perfect, the cleanliness of her overall skating and her expression to the music presented a better overall package than anyone else at this event. At this point, we’d all be shocked if she wasn’t on the world podium, but they need to address the issues on that axel before Boston, just to be safe.
It was hilariously obvious that Elena Radionova wasn’t happy with being second here, after having less jump issues than Medvedeva, but I agree with the placement. I think Lena is struggling with a relative comparison issue- last year, compared to everyone else on the scene, her weaknesses were less noticeable. This year, compared to Medvedeva, she looks sloppy, flaily and unpolished. I do like her passion and fire, but her programs this year just aren’t doing it for me. She’s in the conversation for the Worlds podium, but she’s vulnerable to cleaner, more well packaged skaters who I think could beat her if they’re clean.
What the hell is up with Anna Pogorilaya’s falls? They are frankly terrifying to watch and really deflate her programs. Considering that I’ve never seen another skater fall like that as consistently as she does, it’s a problem and they need to correct this issue. She’s in danger of being passed up by the many talented Russian juniors, so now is the time. I am guessing she’ll go to Worlds, but she really needs to make the most of that opportunity. Shout out to Roberta Rodeghiero on her nice short program and Angelina Kuchvalska’s great free skate.
Up Next: Men's and Dance! I will also work on a Canadian Nationals recap and the second half of my US Mens National post! I still have so much to catch up on before Four Continents next week!
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.