Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov won the pairs competition at the ISU European figure skating championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
The two-time and reigning European bronze medalists were widely seen as frontrunners in the competition following their spectacular win at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Marseille, where they set a personal best.
"It is hard to explain how dearly this gold medal cost to us, it was a long road that required a great effort. We had to prove to the judges that we deserve this victory," Morozov said. "We were sure of our performance in the short program and the free skate, so we weren’t nervous."
The Russians led after the short program and sealed their victory on Jan. 26 evening, scoring 227.58 points in total.
"For two years in a row, we won bronze awards, and this path toward gold was a very difficult one. We hope that more victories will follow. As far as the world championships are concerned, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it," he added.
The world championships will take place in Helsinki between March 29 and April 2.
Tarasova, in her turn, also described the victory as hard, adding that the pair had to replace a quad twist with a triple one due to an injury that she received during training.
"As far as my fall is concerned, it looked more serious than it really was, everything is fine. If not for this incident, we would have done the quad twist lift. We said in the beginning of this season that we are not going to cancel it, but we had to due to the circumstances," the skater added.
The pair’s coach Nina Mozer said the decision to leave the quad twist out was made was a last-minute one.
"The decision not to make the quad twist lift was made by me," she said. "Zhenya was skating with an injury. We did an x-ray Sunday, and I decided not to take the risk, because we were unable to practice the twist lift for more than a week."
Last year's European silver medalists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany received 222,35 and finished second this year as well. The bronze went to Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France (220,02), who were second after the short program.
2014 Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov of Russia were fourth (216,51), followed by another Russian pair, Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (200,75).
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