Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, winners of six straight German pairs titles, missed this season’s nationals, which were held in December. At the time Savchenko was said to be suffering from infectious mononucleosis. Now the German media is reporting that she is suffering from the "simple" flu, according to members close to her "entourage."
Now reports indicate Savchenko and Szolkowy are likely to compete at the 2010 European Championships. The event begins on Jan. 19 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Along with bowing out of nationals, the duo pulled out of three shows between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, due to Savchenko's illness. The last event the German stars contested was the 2009-10 Grand Prix Final. They claimed the bronze medal.
Savchenko and Szolkowy are one of the most successful German pairs teams of all times. When they were paired up, the clicked quickly. After skating together for just a few months they won the 2004 German title. In 2007 Savchenko are Szolkowy became the first German pairs skaters to be crowned Europena champions in 12 years and in 2008 they became the first German pairs team in 11 years to win the World Championships.
Their coach, Ingo Steuer, won Europeans with partner Mandy Wötzel in 1995 and Worlds in 1997.
Meanwhile on the European ice dance front, IFS has learned that Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder skated in front French federation officials and the media assembled today at the Boulogne-Billancourt ice rink (close to Paris).
The purpose initially was to test their new routines. Dressed in black, the 2008 World champions only performed their OD (a French Cancan).
The main question on hand was to decide if Delobel and Schoenfelder will be ready for the European Championships. During a press conference, they were optimistic about their chances of being prepared in time for the 2010 Olympic Games being held next month in Vancouver. Tomorrow they plan to announce whether or not they will compete at Euros. It appears unlikely they will compete in Tallinn.
Delobel (who gave birth in the fall) is said to be working on her conditioning. "It would be a matter of strategy," she said to the media. "At our practices, we train 200 percent as if we were competing at the Europeans in two weeks."
Delobel, Schoenfelder, their coach Murielle Boucher-Zazoui and the French federation president Didier Gailhaguet all indicated that the main goal for the team was to compete at the Olympic Games.