Died in beauty and badly beaten: Two days after a passable short program, Nikita Starostin crashed brutally in the freestyle at the European Figure Skating Championships in Espoo, Finland.
The Dortmunder by choice, who trains in Belgium, presented himself with extremely weak jumps and left the ice shaking his head after four largely unsuccessful minutes.
Instead of defending tenth place in the short freestyle, the native Russian fell back to 15th place. Pirouettes worth seeing and expressive step passages were of no use to the 20-year-old, who is so talented in running.
In the absence of the Russian top runners, the new title holder became Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa. Last year’s World Championships eighth place was in a class of its own in the Metro Arena and even overshadowed second-placed Italian Matteo Rizzo and bronze medalist Lukas Britschgi from Switzerland.