First off, wow, Coomes & Buckland! Beating out both the lesser Russian teams for the bronze. Though speaking of them, you have to feel for Riazanova & Tkachenko, with it now confirmed they will suffer the same fate as Ekaterina Rubleva & Ivan Shefer last quaddrenium, spending the entire time as the Russian number threes only to lose their status just in time to miss the Olympics.
But with I&K performing less than their best, I’d say this doesn’t really increase Cappellini & Lanotte’s chances at that bronze in Sochi much; they didn’t win by enough for that. But hey, the European title itself is worth having, so glad they got that, at least. Same assessment of the ladies’ result too, perhaps; Kostner didn’t skate her best. On the other hand, she very often doesn’t; perhaps the main different between this year and the past if that there are skaters in Europe capable of beating her when she does make mistakes. And the way Lipnitskaia’s been going this season, I think she is looking like the skater most likely to take the bronze. Poor Leonova, though; finally recovered, but it’s too late; there’s no room on Olympic team for her.
And meanwhile Kovtun being behind Voronov is something Plushenko may yet take advantage of, but while I would be extremely happy if Tomas followed up the good short with a good free, I expect some changes in the men in the next round. Even Javier Fernandez might or might not hold onto the big lead, if only because Spanish skating seems to continually disappoint this season. LaFuente continues to struggle, and though at least Hurtado & Diaz made the top ten(do Robledo & Funero have the tech minimums to go to Europeans next year?), they had their issues too.