Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov took the lead in the Pairs Short Program ahead of teammates Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres of France came third.
Performing to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, Stolbova/Klimov landed a triple twist, side by side triple toeloop, and a throw triple Lutz. The reigning World and European silver medalists picked up a level four for the lift, death spiral, side by side spin and the step sequence to score 71.38 points. “We’ll see what happens the day after tomorrow but right now it all felt good. We’re happy we managed to do everything, the lift got level 4 and all the other elements got good levels. I don’t know if it was our best skate but the marks were fine”, Klimov told the press.
Kavaguti/Smirnov’s program to “Meditation” from “Thais” included a triple toe, triple twist, throw triple loop and three level-four elements. The two-time World bronze medalists posted a new seasons best with 69.86 points. “We are very satisfied with our performance today and very happy to be competing at the European Championships again. After my injury each competition feels new and I experience my second youth”, Smirnov said.
James/Cipres produced a triple twist, triple toe and throw triple flip in their routine to “Tango de Roxanne” and achieved a seasons best with 60.13 points. We couldn’t be happier with this performance, we couldn’t even wish for a better performance here at the Europeans. This is a really good start for the competition”, James commented.
The new Italian team of Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek currently sits in fourth at 57.95 points followed by World Junior silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS, 57.13 points) and Mari Vartmann/Aaron van Cleave (GER) with 54.36 points.