Teen dream: Russia's Mark Kondratiuk on his way to the men's title
Paris (AFP) - Teenager Mark Kondratiuk marked his European figure skating championship debut with the men’s title on Friday as Russia continued to dominate the event three weeks out from the Winter Olympics.
Kondratiuk, just 18 and a graphic artist by profession, showcased three quadruple jumps in his free programme in Tallinn to win with a total score of 286.56 points.
“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,” said Kondratiuk after his performance to “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
“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.”
Italy’s Daniel Grassl took silver with 274.48 with Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia grabbing bronze on 272.08 points.
Russia’s Andrei Mozalev, who had led after the short programme, slipped to fourth with 265.69.
Earlier, world champion ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov led after the rhythm dance section.
The reigning European champions scored 87.89 points.
Fellow Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin are second with 86.45 points while Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy sit third with 83.35 ahead of the deciding free programme on Saturday.
The Russians have swept the Euros so far with 15-year-old Kamila Valieva setting a new short programme world record in the women’s event.
In the pairs, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov claimed the European title to add to their world championship triumph last year.
Russia swept the rest of the podium with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov winning silver and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii claiming bronze.