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A Golden Day for Carolina Kostner

It had been a rough season for Italy’s Carolina Kostner but the demons of the past all dissipated today when Kostner handily won her third European title. Finland’s Laura Lepistö, the 2009 European champion, claimed silver ahead of bronze medalist Elene Gedevanishvili. It was the first ISU Figure Skating Championship medal for the nation of Georgia. All three medalists posted new seasons best scores in the free skate.

Kostner, who stood in first after the short, earned 107.66 points for her “Air” by Bach routine, despite popping the flip and missing the triple loop. The 2009 European silver medalist earned a combined score of 173.46 points. “This competition felt like a liberation for me,” Kostner said. “The title means the same as the other two, but it was the hardest one for me. Sometimes you forget how difficult it is to skate for the audience and the media and in front of the judges. It was a really good training for my head. I think I did it well. My first emotion was that I felt a little angry that I popped the flip. The mistake threw me a little off. But in general, I am very pleased. I feel that I’m on the right way and this result gives me confidence.”

Lepistö had some jumping issues but held on to score 103.41 points for her free skating performance and claimed the silver medal with 166.37 points. “It started very well with my triple-triple combination and I felt really good and comfortable. But then came some double jumps and stupid errors on the landings. It could have been better, but I’m genuinely happy with the silver medal,” Lepistö said.

Gedevanishvili, who stood in fourth place following the short program, gave a strong performance to “Carmen.” The Georgian native stepped out of her first jump, a triple Lutz, but recovered to nail a series of solid jumping passes. Gedevanishvili’s score of 164.54 points catapulted her into third place. “This is totally unexpected. It means a lot to me. I was very well prepared and I will carry this feeling to the Olympic Games,” she said. “I am very proud."

Finland’s Kiira Korpi slipped from second to fourth with 163.68 points. Two-time European silver medalist Sarah Meier skated into fifth (157.44 points).