Figure skating The European Championship got the climax it deserved for Finns, when Juulia Turkkila and Mathias Versluis took bronze in ice dancing.
The Finnish couple got their record score of 120.65 for a beautiful and technically sound free dance. The total points were 198.21, when 77.56 points from Friday’s rhythm dance were added to them.
The scores secured the expected but ultimately surprising bronze for the pair.
When the points came up on the Espoo Metro-arena scoreboard, Turkkila cried for joy and the audience gave a standing ovation.
“The career continues towards new goals”, Turkkila managed to say before the award ceremony.
By new goals, he already meant the 2026 Winter Olympics.
One of the coolest elements of the program was the compound lift.
“There was such a wow feeling when the audience started clapping,” continued Turkkila.
Struggle The EC bronze was to be tickled, when the four couples were almost equal after the rhythm dance.
French couple Evgeniia Lopareva/Geoffrey Brissaud opened the bronze medal first by skating a flawless and elegant free dance, for which the judges gave 191.85 points.
After this, a pair of Czech siblings who started a hot group Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler scored 188.34. The pair lost an important point after skating over the allowed time.
The Lithuanians who skated after them Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius collected 195.67 points and took the top spot in the competition.
The audience cheered wildly when Turkkila and Versluis’s turn came. Frank Schubertin ice dancing to the rhythm of piano music was a successful ensemble.
Bronze was a well-deserved and demanding result. Turkkila and Versluis competed as a couple for the second time in the European Championships. In 2019, the pair was eleventh. The 2020 EC representation was missed when Turkkila seriously injured her neck.
The 2021 European Championships were canceled due to the corona pandemic and a year ago the couple had to withdraw when Turkey’s corona test result was positive.
“It was a terrible setback,” said Turkkila, who has competed four times at the EC level as a single skater.
In 2014, he was at best twelfth. In 2012 and 2013 he was seventeenth and in 2011 fifteenth.
Common Turkkila and Versluis started their ice dancing careers in 2016. After half a year of training, the couple was already second in the SC.
Turkkila and Versluis’ medal is the eighth EC bronze of all time and the second in ice dance. Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko were bronze at the home games in the Helsinki Ice Hall in 1993.
The other six bronze medals have come in solo skating: Viveca Lindfors in 2019, Kiira Korpi 2011, Susanna Pöykiö 2009, Laura Lepistö 2008, Korpi 2007 and Marcus Nikkanen 1930.
In total, Finland has 13 EC medals. Rahkamo and Kokko won gold in 1995 and Lepistö in the previous home games in 2009. In addition, Korpi (2012), Lepistö (2010) and Pöykiö (2005) have won EC silver.
The European ice dance championship was won by an Italian couple Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (210.44). British couple Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson was second (207.89). The first and second pair clearly led the competition after the rhythm dance.