|Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia celebrate their victory in the pairs event on the final day of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Jan. 19, 2014. The Russian duo placed second with 136.40 points in the pairs free program. Despite first Trankov fell and then Volosozhar, they won gold medal with 220.38 points. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)
BUDAPEST, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Russian pair skaters Tatiana Volosozhar (28)/Maxim Trankov (30) held onto their short program lead in the free event here on Sunday, winning with 220.38 points at the European Figure Skating Championships.
The second and third places were also occupied by Russian skaters.
Russians Ksenia Solbova (22)/Fedor Klimov (24) excelled on the ice and with a point score of 207.98 they moved up from fourth place in the short program to win silver overall, relegating the third Russian pair, Vera Bazarova (21)/Yuri Larionov (27), who had been ahead of them, to bronze with 201.61 points.
Volosozhar and Trankov looked unhappy with their performance. First, Trankov fell and then Volosozhar landed a jump on two feet instead of one. While there was no one to challenge their superior skating despite the snafus, the free skating of the current World and European champions was decidedly below par.
Germany's Aliona Savchenkov (29) and Robin Szolkowy (34) withdrew after seizing second place in the short program, citing a bout of influenza on Savchenkov's part. Their coach, Ingo Steuer, told the media that while the duo was not very happy about their decision, they need to be in 100 percent shape for the Olympics, which begin in less than three weeks. The four-time world champions feared the injuries that could result from competing while unwell.
The European Figure Skating Championships ended on Sunday with a gala performance that included competition stars and young hopefuls alike.
In pictures: Russia sweep medals in European Championships pairs skating