Hase/Volodin miss medal at European Figure Skating Championships

The new German top duo Minerva-Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin showed nerves at the European Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania and missed out on the medal they hoped for.

The Grand Prix winners from Berlin performed a failed routine at their first joint European Figure Skating Championships on Thursday and slipped out of the medal positions they had believed to be safe with a score of 190.69. It is the first major setback for the duo at international level.

Gold went to the Italians Lucrezia Beccari/Matteo Guarise (199.19) ahead of Anastasia Metelkina/Luka Berulawa (Georgia/196.14) and their compatriots Rebecca Ghiliardi/Filippo Ambrosini (195.68).

The Hase/Volodin, dressed in black costumes, started the free program ambitiously after taking second place in the short program. But there were a lot of mistakes, some of them serious. In the jump sequence, Hase was unsteady with the double axel, she fell during the triple throw-Rittberger and the lift was aborted.

The second German starters Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel (Berlin), who had to take a long break due to injury, took seventh place as last year’s European Championship bronze medalists with 177.75 points.

“We had hoped to do better in the competition than in training. But running two perfect programs with only two and a half weeks of training together was utopian from the start,” said Hocke. Kunkel, who was out for a long time due to back problems, said: “We came to the European Championships with zero expectations. At the World Cup we want to get close to 100 percent.”

Hase/Volodin traveled to Lithuania with legitimate medal hopes. The duo, who have only been on the ice together for just over a year, won the Grand Prix events in Espoo (Finland) and Osaka (Japan) as well as the Grand Prix final in Beijing before the turn of the year.