The competition at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2009 concluded Saturday with
the Ladies Free Skating in Helsinki, Finland.
Ladies, Free Skating
9980 spectators in the Hartwall Areena followed an exciting Ladies competition and celebrated
Finland’s first European Ladies figure skating title in history with Laura Lepistö’s win. Defending
champion Carolina Kostner of Italy took the silver medal and Susanna Pöykiö completed a
successful day for the host country with the bronze medal. It was also the first time that two Finnish
Ladies stood on the podium. All three medalists achieved a new seasons best.
Lepistö had drawn to skate fourth in the final flight. She opened her routine to “Don Juan de
Marco” with a high double Axel, a solid triple toe-double toe combination, but then popped the
Lutz. The reigning European bronze medallist rallied back to complete a triple loop, triple loopdouble
toe combination, a double Axel, triple Salchow-double toe and two level-four spins. Lepistö
earned 110.70 points (52.14 element score/58.56 program component score), which added up to a
total of 167.32 points. When she saw her score, the 20-year-old covered her face in surprise and
delight. She knew she would be on the podium, but she only knew that he had the gold after
teammate Susanna Pöykiö had skated. “This feeling can’t be described. I can’t even start to tell
what all is going through my mind now. I could never have expected this to happen. I had said my
goal is to medal, but that it would be gold, I can’t realize it”, she said as soon as she knew that she
had won. “The audience exploded, and I myself had this feeling too. Everything erupted at that
moment, it was unbelievable.”
Kostner turned in a solid performance to “Dumky Trio” by Anton Dvorak that featured a triple flipdouble
toe combination, a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop, a triple loop, Salchow and two double
Axel, and she only doubled her second flip. The two-time European Champion earned level threes
and fours for her spins, steps and spirals, but one spin didn’t count as it was identified as a second
change foot combination spin (instead of a change foot sit spin). The Italian still won the Free
Skating and improved her previous seasons best significantly with 114.06 points (53.50/60.56).
Overall she pulled up from third to second at 165.42 points. “Each athlete comes here to win, but I
couldn’t do it this time. I’m happy for Laura that she could win in front of her homecrowd. This
must be an amazing feeling. Next year the World Championships are in my hometown, so I hope I
can do the same”, Kostner commented.
Pöykiö landed a triple flip-double toe-double loop combination, a triple Salchow, loop, triple toedouble
toe as well as a double Axel, but doubled the Lutz and the second flip and one toeloop was
not fully rotated and downgraded. Her flying combination spin and the spiral got a level four while
the other two spins were a level three. The 2005 European silver medallist picked up 100.25 points
(45.37/54.88) and returned to the podium with 156.31 points. “I’m really pleased about winning the
bronze medal, but I could’ve skated better. I’m disappointed about doing only double Lutz – double
toe loop combination and double flip”, the athlete told the press. “Of course skating my seasonal
best is good, and I can improve from that in my next competitions.