1998 European Championships

Milan, Italy

11 - 18 January 1998

(Notes prepared from ISU press releases.)



Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Maria Butyrskaya RUS 5 1
2 Irina Slutskaya RUS 3 2
3 Tanja Szewczenko GER 1 3
4 Elena Liashenko UKR 7 4
5 Krisztina Czako HUN 4 6
6 Surya Bonaly FRA 2 7
7 Julia Soldatova RUS 11 5
8 Julia Lautowa AUT 12 8
9 Yulia Vorobieva AZE 10 9
10 Alisa Drei FIN 9 10
11 Vanessa Gusmeroli FRA 8 11
12 Yulia Lavrenchuk UKR 6 12
13 Mojca Kopac SLO 15 13
14 Zuzana Paurova SVK 13 15
15 Tony Sabrina Bombardieri ITA 14 17
16 Sabina Wojtala POL 17 16
17 Julia Sebestyen HUN 22 14
18 Helena Grundberg SWE 18 18
19 Ivana Jakupcevic CRO 16 21
20 Sofia Penkova BUL 19 20
21 Jekaterina Golovatenko EST 23 19
22 Marion Krijgsman NED 21 23
23 Katerina Blohonova CZE 24 22
24 Valeria Trifancova LAT 20 24
25 Anina Fivian SWI 25  
26 Kaja Hanevold NOR 26  
27 Salome Chigogidze GEO 27  
28 Marta Senra SPN 28  
29 Noemi Bedo ROM 29  
30 Ellen Mareels BEL 30  


Notes after the long program:

In the closing event of the Championships, Maria Butyrskaya won the European ladies title in her sixth attempt, to make it a Russian sweep of all four events for the second year in a row.  With Irina Slutskaya winning the silver medal, it was a 1-2 finish for Russia in all four events.  It total, Russian skaters captured 75% of the top three paces in all four events.

Twenty-five year old Butyrskaya was fifth in the short and seemingly out of contention but errors by the other skaters and a strong performance of her own, skating second to last, rocketed her into first place for her first Championship tittle.  She landed six triples and finished with a double Axel. in a classically elegant performance that won first place marks from all nine judges and five marks of 5.9 for presentation.   "I didn't really think about a medal as I was fifth yesterday," said Butyrskaya.  "I didn't fight for first place but just to skate so there was less pressure.  I must admit I knew before I skated that there was a possibility that I might win."

Butyrskaya was followed in the skating  order by the leader after the short, Tanja Szewczenko.  She put a hand down on her opening triple Lutz but went on to land five more triples, one in combination with double toe loop, before singling a double axel and finishing with a clean triple toe loop - double toe loop combination.  Her marks included two 5.8's and four 5.7's with the judges split 5-4 in favor of Slutskaya.

Surya Bonaly, second after the short, but suffering from a recent illness, could not sustain her program.  She opened with a double Axel and a triple Salchow - double Salchow sequence followed by a triple Salchow - triple toe loop combination, but after fatigue set in she fell on a triple flip.  Her marks were as low as 4.7 to a high of 5.5 and she placed 11th in the free skate to plunge to sixth overall.

Notes after the short program:

Tanja Szewczenko, out of competition for 18 months due to injury and illness, continued her dream comeback season as she won the short porgram.  The German Champion, winner of two Champions Series events this season and second in the final, skated a clean program, landing triple Lutz - double toe loop and a solo triple toe loop.  She received three 5.8's for presentation and first place from six of the judges.

Surya Bonaly, dogged with injuries for the past two seasons, was the surprise second place skater.  She produced a triple toe loop - triple toe loop combination and a solo triple loop despite suffering from a recent illness which left her unable to train over the holiday period.

Third was defending champion Irina Slutkaya, who fatlered on her opening triple Lutz - double toe loop combination, but finished strongly after that to place ahead of last year's silver medalist Zrisztina Czako.

"I'm very pleased with my performance," said Szewczenko.   "Everything was fine and it was a clean program.  I'm so pleased with my double Axel as I had a bad fall on my knee yesterday."



Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Alexei Yagudin RUS 1 1
2 Evgeni Pliushenko RUS 3 2
3 Axelander Abt RUS 2 4
4 Andrej Vlachtchenko GER 4 5
5 Philippe Candeloro FRA 9 3
6 Steven Cousins GBR 7 6
7 Viacheslav Zagorodniuk UKR 6 7
8 Dmitry Dmitrenko UKR 5 8
9 Michael Tyllesen DEN 8 9
10 Ivan Dinev BUL 12 10
11 Gilberto Viadana ITA 11 12
12 Patrick Meier SWI 14 11
13 Michael Shmerkin ISR 10 14
14 Thierry Cerez FRA 16 13
15 Robert Grzegorczyk POL 15 15
16 Margus Hernits EST 21 16
17 Szabolcs Vidrai HUN 19 17
18 Cornel Gheorghe ROM 13 20
19 Sven Meyer GER 18 18
20 Patrick Schmit LUX 23 19
21 Robert Kazimir SVK 22 21
22 Johnny Jensen DEN 17 24
23 Markus Leminen FIN 20 23
24 Radek Horak CZE 24 22
25 Hristo Turlakov BUL 25
26 Vakhtang Murvanidze GEO 26
27 Sergeis Telenkov LAT 27
28 Jan Cejvan SLO 28
29 Daniel Peinado SPN 29
30 Matthew van den Broeck BEL 30


Notes after the long program:

Russia won its second gold of the 1998 European Championships as Alexei Yagudin won his first senior title to head a Russian sweep in the men's event.  Yagudin landed a clean quad toe loop and seven triples, including triple Axel - triple toe loop, and a solo triple Axel.  His marks included eight 5.9's with the rest all 5.8's.  He followed with triple Axel - triple toe loop and five more triples to earn five marks of 5.9 and ten 5.8's.

The silver medal was taken by 1997 World Junior Champion Evgeni Pliushenko appearing in his first European Championships.  He opened his program with quad toe loop - triple toe loop, but the landing on the quad was not clean.  Two of the nine judges placed him first ahead of Yagudin.  The results gave coach Alexei Mishin a one-two result for the men's event.

"I am so happy to be first," said Yagudin afterwards.  "I am so proud of my skating today.  Now I try to show my steps, my spins.  I want to be different."

Placing fourth in the free skate, Alexander Abt held onto third place for the bronze medal.  Third place in the long, however, was taken by Philippe Candeloro who brought the crowd to its feet with his new "D'Artagnon" free program.  He moved up to fourth overall after being ninth in the short, and in the process he earned the first 6.0 of his career, given for presentation.

Notes after the short program:

Russian men dominated the men's event placing one-two-three in the short program.   All three of the top men skated clean programs with triple Axel - triple toe loop and triple Lutz.  Alexei Yagudin was awarded eight 5.9's and placed first by all nine judges.  In a split decision, Alexander Abt - a late replacement for the injured Ilia Kulik - got the vote for second place from six judges ahead of last seasons World Junior Champion Evgeny Pliushenko.  Both Yagudin and Pliushenko train in St. Petersburg with Alexei Mishin, while Abt, coming off of an injury plagued 1996/97 season, trains in Moscow.



Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Berezhnaya / Sikharulidze RUS 1 1
2 Kazakova / Dmitriev RUS 3 2
3 Abitbol/Bernadis FRA 2 3
4 Zagorska/Siudek POL 4 4
5 Schwarz/Mueller GER 6 5
6 Filonenko/Marchenko UKR 5 6
7 Obertas/Palamarchuk UKR 8 7
8 Berankova/Dlabola CZE 7 8
9 Rodionova/Anichenko AZE 9 9
10 Poluliaschenko/Seabrook GBR 10 10
11 Asanakis/McKeever GRE 11 11
12 Bestandigova/Bestandig SVK 12 12
13 Nekrassova/Mintals EST 14 13
14 Krasiltseva/Chestnikh ARM 13 14
(w) Eltsova/Bushkov RUS    


Notes after the long program:

Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze won the free skate to win the first Championship gold medal of their career.  Skating first in the last group they landed their side-by-side triple toe loops and two throw triple jumps, but both made an error on their double Axels.   Their marks ranged from 5.7 - 5.8 for technical merit and seven 5.9's for presentation.  With this result they are now strong contenders for a medal at next month's Olympic Games.  "we have many difficult elements in our program and it is hard to put all these elements and the artistic impression together," said Sikharulidze afterwards.

Skating second in the last group.  Abitbol and Bernadis attempted to become the first team to land a throw triple Axel, but Abitbol fell on the landing.  She also two-footed their throw triple loop.  They dropped one place in the free skate to win the bronze medal.

Kazakova and Dmitriev skated last.  They landed side-by-side triple toe loops and two side-by-side double Axels, one in combination with double toe loop.  Their only significant error was a hand down by Kazakova on throw triple Salchow.  They received two marks of 5.9 and six 5.8's to move up and win the silver medal.

Notes after the short program:

Defending Champions Eltsova and Bushkov made a dramatic early exit from the pairs competition.  Skating last in the opening group, the pair was forced to withdraw after just one minute of their short program after Bushkov's right blade broke in a freak mishap.  "It has never ever happened to me before.  I hope this is the first and last time.  I knew something was wrong when I went into the take-off for the triple toe," said Bushkov.  "We think it happened during the warm-up," added Eltsova.  "I can't believe it."

Champions Series winners Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze skated a perfect short program to take the lead and earned the first 6.0 of their career.  Their marks also included a total of ten 5.9's.

French Champions and 1996 bronze medalists Abitbol and Bernadis placed second also skating a clean program.  The 1996 Champions Kazakova and Dmitriev were third in the short after Kazakova put a hand down on the landing of their side-by-side triple toe loops.



Place Skater Country C1 C2 OD


1 Grishuk/Platov RUS 1 1 2 1
2 Krylova/Ovsiannikov RUS 2 2 1 2
3 Anissina/Peizerat FRA 3 3 3 3
4 Lobacheva/Averbukh RUS 4 4 4 4
5 Fusar Poli/Margaglio ITA 5 5 5 5
6 Drobiazko/Vanagas LIT 7 7 6 6
7 Moniotte/Lavanchy FRA 6 6 7 7
8 Romanova/Yaroshenko UKR 8 8 8 8
9 Winkler/Lohse GER 10 11 9 9
10 Navka/Morozov BLR 9 10 11 10
11 Nowak/Kolasinski POL 11 9 10 11
12 Chait/Sakhnovsky ISR 14 14 12 12
13 Gerencser/Camerlengo ITA 13 12 13 13
14 Mrazova/Simecek CZE 12 13 14 14
15 Delobel/Schoenfelder FRA 16 15 15 15
16 Denkova/Staviyski BUL 15 16 16 16
17 Merzova/Morbacher SVK 18 18 17 17
18 Clements/Shortland GBR 19 20 18 18
19 Fuehring/Ellinger AUT 20 19 19 19
20 Smetanenko/Gezalian ARM 17 17 21 21
21 Baraby/Rosnik HUN 23 22 20 20
22 Hugentobler/Hugentobler SWI 22 21 22 22
23 Kalesnik/Terentjev EST 21 23 23 23


Notes after the free dance:

Grishuk and Platov came back to win the free dance and the gold medal in the dance event.  The couple gave an impassioned performance of their "Requiem" routine to win a standing ovation and four perfect 6.0's for presentation and a total of eight 5.9's.

After skating, Grishuk and Platov had to wait and watch as the leaders after the short program, Krylova and Ovsiannikov, skated last.  Their "Carmen" routine won a total of evlev 5.9's but the judges split 7 to 2 in favor of the defending champions Grishuk and Platov.  It was their 21st consecutive victory since the 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

The bronze medal went to Anissina and Peizerat.  Their "Romeo and Julliet" program was awarded two 5.9's and seven 5.8's.  It was the first championship medal of their career.

"I hope people will remember this program like they remember Torvill and Dean's Bolero.  Last night was a nightmare.  It put a lot of stress on us," said Platov.  "After so many years of winning, we are very strong personalities and could put this accident behind us.  We knew we could do much better." added Grishuk.

Notes after the original dance:

For the first time in 20 competitions, Grishuk and Platov found themselves in second place in a dance event.  The defending Champions clashed their blades during their high speed, technically intricate Jive and Platov fell.  It was their third fall in four competitions this season.  The Russian Champions received sin 5.9's for presentation but their marks for composition ranged from 5.6 to 5.8.   "Unfortunately again we had a big mistake," said Platov.  "We had a collision of our blades but we will try hard to get back our first place."

World and European silver medalists Krylova and Ovsiannikov, who have never yet beaten Grishuk and Platov, took full advantage of the mistake.  Seven of the nine judges put them in first place. "We felt great in the Jive, as always," said a delighted Krylova.  "The free dance will be very interesting.  We are ready for it.   We are ready to fight."

French Champions Anissina and Peizerat remain third, with one judge placing them ahead of Grishuk and Platov.  They received six marks of 5.8 despite Anissina performing with a temperature and slight fever.

Notes after the compulsory dances:

Grishuk and Platov opened the Championships and the defense of their European tittle with victory in both compulsory dances.  Platov suffered a small cut across his right leg from the skate of Anjelika Krylova in an accidental collision during the warm-up for the first dance, the Quickstep.  Afterwards Platov dismissed the injury as minor.

Grishuk and Platov were awarded a total of seven marks of 5.9 for both the Quickstep and the Argentine Tango and unanimous first place ordinals from both panels of seven judges.  Last year's silver medalists, Krylova and Ovsiannikov, placed second in both dances and Anissina and Peizerat , hoping for their first European Championships medal, placed third.

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