uRssian rookie Mark Kondratiuk skated off with the gold medal at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn (EST) Friday in what was an exciting event with many movements in the standings. Italy’s Daniel Grassl came from fifth to claim the silver medal while Deniss Vasiljevs climbed from sixth to earn the bronze, a historic first medal for Latvia.
Kondratiuk, who stood in second following the Short Program, delivered an emotional performance to “Jesus Christ Superstar”, reeling off a quad toe, triple Axel, triple Axel-double toe, quad Salchow-Euler-triple Salchow, quad Salchow as well as three more triples and level-four spins. The Russian Champion set a new personal best with 187.50 points and totaled 286.56 points to win gold in his ISU Championship debut.
“That was unexpected. I was just hoping to make the top three, like I was hoping for that at Russian Nationals. A kind of miracle happened,” the 18-year-old, who is a graphic artist, said. “It’s nice I was able to be on a higher level than previously. I am happy with the elements I did but am not very happy with my skating, I wanted to show more emotions but I was unable to do so.”
Grassl nailed a quad Lutz, quad flip, quad loop-Euler-triple Salchow as well as a triple Axel and four more triple jumps in his routine to “Interstellar” and “Armageddon”. He only touched down with his hand on the final jump, a triple Lutz. The Italian Champion earned 182.73 points, a personal best score, and moved up from fifth at 274.48 points overall.
“I’m very happy for this because after the fourth place in Graz (2020 European Championships) I was very disappointed it’ was 1.5 points from the second and I was very pressured for these Euros because I knew I could go for the podium and I’m so happy that I did it,” Grassl told the press.
Vaslijevs’ expressive performance to “Romeo and Juliet” was highlighted by a quadruple Salchow (slightly underrorated), two triple Axels as well as six triple jumps. The Latvian Skater earned 181.84 points and accumulated 272.08 points overall.
“I’m really excited, very happy, very proud. I haven’t yet grasped the total value, but the biggest pride I feel today it that I came and performed my maximum. I really feel I gave 100% and that’s my biggest focus right now, not so much on the medal. I feel joy, positivity, confidence,” Vasiljevs commented. “It was really incredible to feel all this energy and exchanging the passion for the sport and art we are all here to see and thank you very much for the support and the love.”
2020 World Junior Champion Andrei Mozalev (RUS) slipped from first to fourth at 265.69 points. He landed two quad toes but popped his planned quad Salchow into a triple and landed forward. Evgeni Semenenko (RUS) dropped from third to fifth (260.00 points) while 2019 European bronze medalist Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO) came sixth on 253.91 points. Kevin Aymoz (FRA) moved up from 10th to seventh (252.21 points).