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Kostornaia caps Russian sweep in Euro figure skating

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Graz (Austria) (AFP)

Sixteen-year-old Alena Kostornaia topped a Russian women's podium sweep at the European Figure Skating Championships on Friday as her country made it four golds in four events at the tournament.

Kostornaia totalled 240.81 points, ahead of Anna Shcherbakova (237.76) and Alexandra Trusova (225.34) as the three skaters duplicated their finishes from the Grand Prix Finals in December.

Shcherbakova and Trusova had the consolation of becoming the first figure skaters to complete quadruple jumps in the event.

Despite that, the two 15-year-olds lost points after falling.

Kostornaia, who led after the short programme on Friday, built her success on two triple Axels.

It was a golden tournament for Russia after Dmitri Aliev took the men's title, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii the pairs gold and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov claimed the honours in Saturday's ice dancing.

Sinitsina and Katsalapov ended the reign of French pair Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

The Russians scored 220.42 points, edging the French couple by 14 hundredths of a point and inflicting on them their first defeat in over two years.

Four-time world champions Papadakis and Cizeron were vying for their sixth successive European title and held first place going into Saturday's free dance.

They had not lost to a European pair since 2014 and were unbeaten since the Olympics in 2018.

"To get anywhere near Gabriella and Guillaume seemed impossible for all the skaters," said Katsalapov after a winning performance to Dvorak's "Songs My Mother Taught Me".

Papadakis shrugged off the disappointment.

"We knew the competition was very close so yes, we knew we didn't have room for mistakes and we made them," she admitted.

"We were happy with the performance and how we dealt with the competition and the stress. It's our seventh European Championships and we won five of them which is huge.

"We can't always win and we accept it, it's a lesson for us that we probably needed. We can't wait to work and improve for the worlds."

Another Russian pair Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin took bronze.

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