Alexa

Kostner wins woman's title at Europeans

Kostner wins woman's title at Europeans

Carolina Kostner nailed six triples Saturday to become the first Italian to win the woman's title at the European Figure Skating Championships.
In her first competition since tearing a ligament in her left ankle and trailing Sarah Meier of Switzerland by 0.03 points, Kostner scored a personal-best 114.33 in the free skate to take gold.
Kostner finished with 174.79 points. Meier had 171.28 and Kiira Korpi of Finland was third on 151.19.
Wearing a rose-colored dress, the 19-year-old Kostner skated an elegant, flowing program to the "Memoirs of a Geisha" soundtrack.
She hit a triple flip, triple toe loop, double loop combination to open her program and showed brilliant skate work.
"It was one of my best programs, not only because of the jumps, but because I was feeling so well on the ice," Kostner said. "Good energy helped me to fly over the ice today."
Meier, who has had a breakout season after winning the Cup of Russia, skated a clean program but couldn't hold on to her slim lead from the short program.
"The performance wasn't exactly as I imagined it would be," Meier said. "I wanted to do better. I know that I gave all that I had.
"At the end of the program I was tired, but I fought and landed the triple toe loop," she added.
Dressed in a sleek white dress, the Swiss national champion hit five triples in her free skate to the "Pride and Prejudice" soundtrack.
"It's not that the silver medal is bad _ it's very good _ I just need a little time to feel that way," Meier said. "Still, I'm very happy."
Korpi moved up from fifth after the short program to take bronze.
"I still can't believe it," Korpi said. "I can't believe my marks."
Kostner finished third at last year's competition behind two Russian skaters _ seven-time European champion Irina Slutskaya and Elena Sokolova.
Traditional figure skating powerhouse Russia struggled this year. Russian skaters won only two silver medals in Warsaw after sweeping the golds in 2005 and 2006.
But all of those champions _ Slutskaya, Evgeni Plushenko, pairs Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin and ice dancers Tatiana Navka and Toman Kostomarov _ were missing this year.
Sokolova finished seventh after a shaky short program, leaving Russia without a medal in the women's event for the first time since 1993.
On Thursday, the Russian men also failed to finish on the podium for the first time since 1993.